Trigeneration or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP), is the process by which a proportion of the heat produced by a cogeneration CHP plant is utilised to generate chilled water for air conditioning or use in a refrigeration service from a single source.

An absorption chiller (which provides a lower cost to conventional refrigeration) is a process of compressing two substances (normally water and lithium bromide) by heating, when they expand absorb ambient calories (energy) and produce cooling. This process is linked to the combined heat and power (CHP) unit in order to provide this function. Combined cooling and power (CCP) is where electricity and cooling are utilised independently.

Advantages of a Trigeneration system;
High efficiency production of electricity and thermal heat is made onsite from a single energy source reducing fuel and energy costs to the stakeholder/client
Lower electrical usage during peak summer demand as the chiller process removes the need for separate air conditioning plants
The heat created from the engine can be used to produce steam (HTHVAC) or hot water for onsite domestic use (LTHVAC)
Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions providing reduced exhaust levels to atmosphere – low CO2 emissions
As water is used as the refrigerant within the plant there are no potential chemical pollutants to leak.

Potential Applications
Large Hospitals and nursing / care homes, Food production factories, fruit and vegetable growing facilities, District heating energy centres with mixed tenure.

Disadvantages of Trigeneration
Trigeneration has been around for several years but is still considered to be in it’s infancy with regards to the perfect solution to meet all requirements.
>The energy efficiency is still slightly lower than conventional cogeneration
>The plant equipment is very heavy making roof top installations problematic
>The capital cost is generally high leading to a longer time to regain ROI and receive ongoing profits
>Tri-generation has a limited distance to transfer the energy due to potential heat loss through the pipe network

Helec Limited have over 17 years’ experience with Cogeneration applications through a variety of projects so feel free to call us to discuss your next enquiry to qualify if Tri-generation will be suitable or a conventional gas combined heat & power.