Cogeneration is the combined production of electrical or mechanical and thermal energy from the same original energy source. The idea of cogeneration was developed due to the low performance of conventional power systems. Cogeneration systems have as their main characteristic the recovery of most of the heat produced, which, if no other process is involved, is simply a loss to the environment, thereby saving resources and improving energy efficiency compared to conventional ones. methods of generating electricity.
Co-generation is therefore the most efficient way to generate electricity and heat at the same time. Cogeneration systems can be installed near power users, reducing power transmission losses. This makes them even more efficient and leads to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel costs. When three energy products are produced (cooling, heating, electricity) we refer to multi-generation.
The traditional way of generating electricity generates significant non-beneficial heat as an inevitable by-product that is released into the environment. With cogeneration, this thermal energy is no longer a waste but is used to provide heat locally (eg in greenhouses, shopping malls, in district heating).