Industries requiring electrical and thermal energy for their operations can use cogeneration as a process. Electricity through cogeneration significantly reduces fuel consumption and the overall energy efficiency may go up to 85 per cent or beyond. From the environmental angle, it cuts greenhouse gases’ emissions.
Think of a sugar mill, not only producing sugar but also generating power as a by-product. Bagasse, a residue of crushed sugarcane used in sugar mills is the principal fuel used to raise steam in sugar mills.
With the technological innovations, the high pressure steam generated in boilers can in turn be used to rotate the turbo generator blades to produce electric current. The process employed here to generate power is called cogeneration, which essentially implies the production of two forms of energy, electricity and heat. The power thus generated can be used for meeting the requirements of the sugar mill and the surplus can be fed into the grid.
Energy Efficiency: A Promising Development...
Cogeneration or production of electricity in combination with another industrial process is not limited to sugar mills alone. There are several other industries such as paper and pulp, textile, fertilizer, petroleum, petrochemicals and food processing, which require electrical as well as thermal energy for their operations, and therefore can use cogeneration as a process.
Cogeneration Significantly Reduces Fuel Consumption
The total fuel consumption is significantly reduced when ‘cogeneration’ or ‘Combined Heat and Power’ (CHP) is applied. The overall efficiency of energy use in cogeneration mode can be up to 85 per cent and above in some cases.
In the present scenario, where price of fossil fuels is shooting up and there is shortage and non-availability of coal, cogeneration appears to be a promising development. The thrust – on distributed generation and increasing awareness for cutting greenhouse gases emissions – increases the need of processes like cogeneration. Also, it helps in controlling pollution from fossil fuels.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is promoting cogeneration through various incentive based schemes... more about these plans on page 2!
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