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Combined cycle power vs cogeneration

What is combined cycle power?

A combined cycle power plant is a collection of heat engines or turbines which work together from the same heat source. The turbines/engines create mechanical energy which is used to power generators which in turn produce electricity. The system goes on to utilise the heat produced by the operation of the first engine to drive a second heat engine, thus driving multiple engines/turbines using a single power source. 

Features of a combined cycle power plant

  • Cost effective installation
  • Can use a variety of fuels including natural gas, oil, coal, biofuels
  • Combined cycle can reach efficiency of around 50-60%
  • Usually uses gas or steam turbines

What is cogeneration power?

Cogeneration (CHP or combined heat and power) employs the waste heat from a reciprocating engine which is used to power a generator, which in turn creates electricity. The waste heat is used to heat water or create steam which can be utilised throughout the facility for a huge variety of purposes including hot water, cleaning, manufacturing, space heating, etc.

Cogeneration is extremely energy efficient

Features of cogeneration

  • Can utilise a range of fuels including biogas, natural gas, diesel
  • Uses a variety of easy to source and maintain prime movers including reciprocating engines
  • Completely customisable for the power requirements of the facility
  • The inclusion of power electronics allows for varied power demands
  • Cogeneration can achieve up to 92% energy efficiency

Find out more about cogeneration – Inoplex Cogeneration

In summary cogeneration utilises the waste heat generated for hot water or steam uses throughout the facility. Combined cycle power utilises the waste heat produced from an initial electricity generation process to power a second power generation engine or turbine, achieving dual electricity production from a single fuel.