University of Vermont
Mentor: Ralph W. Draper - Associate Professor of Engineering Technology
Analysis of Cogeneration and District Heating
Cogeneration and district heating plants are not new concepts to the power plant industry however, despite its' efficiencies and energy conservation benefits, it is not popular with major electric utilities in the United States. For many years district heating was the ideal way of heating but, now there is a trend in the electric utilities of industries selling their district heating assets.
A literature search was done to become familiar with both cogeneration and central power plants. Various methods of determining efficiencies were used to enable the research to be supported by efficiency calculations. Data was collected during plant visits to various cogeneration and power plant so that efficiencies could be calculated. During these visits consultations were held with plant engineers and executives to gather information concerning the current trends in the power plant and cogeneration industry.
The results of this research reasonably depict the philosophy and policy in the energy business. Cogeneration with district heating is a more energy efficient way of generating electric power and heat, but does not always equate with economic success.