Combined heat and power and campus carbon footprint reduction
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Combined heat and power (CHP), the sequential generation of electrical and thermal energy in an integrated process, has emerged as an economically viable and immediately effective power generation method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CHP systems utilize both the electricity and waste heat created during energy production to increase fuel efficiency and decrease carbon emissions compared to conventional heat and power generation systems. This research examines the extent to which universities can decrease carbon emissions by identifying strategies for installation and operation of highly efficient, gas-fired CHP. To best identify how to enhance campus CHP, existing university plants were surveyed to benchmark how efficiently universities operate CHP. Strategies for increasing turbine efficiency were then considered. Demand for efficient CHP on university campuses was identified and connected to specific turbine characteristics. Policy frameworks to support the development of efficient CHP implementation and operation were examined and challenges identified. This report provides recommendations for overcoming technical, economic, and policy challenges to attain immediate emissions reductions through university usage of CHP.
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