The European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration
  1. Home >
  2. Knowledge Centre >
  3. What is cogeneration? >
  4. Industrial CHP

Industrial CHP

These are typically the largest type of CHP plant. Ranging in scale from a few MWe to the size of a conventional power station, the typical system size is 1-500 MWe: these plants provide high value heat – at the temperatures and pressures required by industry – along with electricity. In some cases surplus heat can also be used to meet the heat requirements of the surrounding local community. Likewise, electricity that is surplus to the needs of the site can be fed into the local network.

CHP facilities can be found in all manufacturing industries except Apparel Manufacturing and Leather and Tanning. However, existing industrial CHP capacity is concentrated in a few industries: Paper and Allied Products (20%), Chemicals and Allied Products (40%) and Petroleum Refining and related products combined (15%) represent more than two thirds of the total electric and steam capacities at existing industrial CHP installations. These industries have been traditional hosts for CHP facilities: these plants generally have high process-related thermal requirements that are not subject to daily or seasonal weather-related fluctuations, so energy is an important part of their business, and operation and maintenance personnel are available and competent to manage CHP systems.

In some industries, low-cost fuel sources (i.e. waste streams) are available for use in CHP systems. While industrial systems over 1 MWe make up the bulk of global CHP capacity, many smaller-scale industrial sites have smaller systems, utilising technologies similar to those used in commercial buildings.

Typical prime movers for industrial CHP are steam turbines, gas turbines, reciprocating engines (compression ignition) and combined cycles (larger systems).