DOE EERE Research Reports

Distributed Energy Resources and Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power

CHP Integration

CHP Integration (or IES): Maximizing the Efficiency of Distributed Generation with Waste Heat Recovery
D. T. Rizy
S. D. Labinov
A. Y. Petrov
E. A. Vineyard
R. L. Linkous

Cooling, Heating, and Power Group
Engineering Science and Technology Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Abstract: A laboratory facility for testing combined cooling/heating and power or more currently referred to as Integrated Energy Systems (IES) has been commissioned at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The scope of the facility is to test distributed generation with thermally-activated technologies for waste heat recovery. The designation of the IES Laboratory Facility as a “National User Facility” provides industry with greater access and control to various IES testing that can be conducted at the laboratory.

The IES laboratory test facility is concluding the testing of a 30 kW microturbine generator with a first generation heat recovery unit, direct and indirect fired desiccant dehumidification systems and an indirect fired 10-ton single-effect absorption chiller. The MTG has been operated individually to obtain its baseline performance characteristics as well as in combination with various waste heat recovery configurations to test an microturbine generator-based IES.

The dynamic and steady-state electrical, thermal, and emissions performance of the microturbine generator has been measured over the power output range of 3 to 30 kW as well as during startup and shutdown. The heat recovery process has been found to reduce the energy efficiency and power output of the MTG slightly due to the increased backpressure on the MTG’s exhaust.

However, the overall MTG-based IES system produces a 35-60% efficiency vs. the ~23% efficiency of the individual microturbine generator. A number of key results have been produced by the laboratory and are leading to IES recommendations. Also, performance issues related to the microturbine generator have been identified and are being addressed.

Keywords: distributed generation, DG, cogeneration, CHP, CCHP, BCHP, combined cooling heating and power, waste heat, desiccant dehumidification, thermally activated technology, TAT, microturbine



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