Extra Edition / Web Exclusive

Medical Center's CHP Plant to Deliver Significant Cost and Energy Savings

October 11, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

HOUSTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently helped Thermal Energy Corp. (TECO) celebrate the opening of a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. The dedication ceremony marked the completion of the 48 megawatt facility that will provide steam, chilled water, and electricity to the 18 institutions comprising the campus - the largest medical center in the world. Supported by an award of $10 million in DOE funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the project now constitutes the largest on-campus, district chilled water system in the country.

CHP power plants generate both the heat and electricity needed for facility processes on-site, instead of using electricity from the grid, and can be nearly twice as efficient as conventional heat and power production. By making use of the heat produced during power generation on-site, CHP technologies, like those at work in the TECO plant, avoid losses from the generation and transmission of energy produced off-site. While the traditional method of producing separate heat and power has a typical combined efficiency of 45 percent, the TECO CHP system can operate at efficiency levels approaching 80 percent. The new CHP plant will save the Texas Medical Center up to $1.5 million a year in energy costs and reduce the Center’s emissions by roughly 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

The new TECO CHP facility is powered by a gas turbine technology similar to the types of technologies that power many of the world’s aircraft. The hot exhaust gases from the gas turbine are captured to generate steam for the medical facility. In fact, the electric and waste heat generated as a byproduct of the facility is converted to steam and chilled water that is then repurposed for use in air conditioning, space heating, dehumidification, sterilization, and other processes throughout the buildings on the medical center’s campus. The resulting energy efficiency gains will lead to corresponding energy cost savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and will save money for the medical center.

For more information on district energy systems and combined heat and power, visit www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/distributedenergy/.

Publication date: 10/11/2010

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: Mark Satterfield

Mark Satterfield, founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing Inc. and author of “The One Week Marketing Plan” talks about his book and the importance of HVAC blogging. Posted on Sept. 19.

More Podcasts


NEWS 09-22-14 cover

2014 September 22

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Venting R-22

The NEWS reported that a man received prison time for venting R-22. Should EPA step up enforcement?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con