BOULDER, Colo. — Annual installations of combined heat and power (CHP) systems for commercial buildings were projected to reach nearly 39 gigawatts (GW) in 2012. According to a report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, that number is forecast to more than double by 2022, reaching 79.5 GW.

Sometimes referred to as cogeneration, CHP is the simultaneous generation of electric power and heat in a single, integrated system. These systems can help reduce the cost of HVAC and power for a variety of commercial building types.

“The use of CHP can reduce a building’s energy demand by up to 40 percent when compared to the separate production of heat and power,” said senior research analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. “Although the high upfront cost of CHP systems and the challenge of finding suitable uses for the heat generated are key barriers, relatively short payback periods have allowed many major companies to invest in these energy saving technologies.”

Pike Research said CHP represents a new paradigm for commercial building applications. As an integrated system, CHP systems include a suite of prime mover technologies such as gas turbines, microturbines, fuel cells, and others paired with software and component hardware. Since CHP deployments are not dependent on a single technology, they are widely available for a range of applications, but intrinsically difficult to market to potential end users, architects, and engineers.

Building applications for CHP systems include hospitals, universities, hotels, casinos, airports, and others.

Publication date: 1/7/2013