DOE Awards $9 Million to Boost Combined Heat and Power Technologies for U.S. Industry

January 22, 2009

The U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) announced the selection of several R&D projects that will receive more than $9 million in total cost-shared funding over the next 3 years. The R&D teams selected plan to develop distributed energy and combined heat and power (CHP) technologies that deliver superior energy and environmental performance.  

ITP has identified CHP as one of the most effective commercially available options for increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CHP can provide thermal energy for buildings or industrial processes, while simultaneously generating part of the electricity needed at the site at a higher combined energy efficiency. Compared to the separate generation of electricity and heat, which typically operate at a combined efficiency of 45%, CHP systems can operate at more than 80% efficiency. This solicitation aims to expand the use of CHP in U.S. industrial applications.  

Pending Congressional approval, the $9.1 million provided by DOE will leverage an additional $5.6 million in cost-shared funds provided by the award recipients and their industry partners.  The following four projects have been selected for funding within the current appropriation:  

Flexible Distributed Energy and Water from Waste for the Food and Beverage Industry
Estimated Funding: $3,050,000 total ($2,000,000 DOE)
Partners and Project Description: General Electric (GE) Global Research, in collaboration with GE Water & Process Technologies, GE Fanuc, and Sentech, Inc. will develop a systematic plant-wide automation for online monitoring and supervisory control. The system will enhance the robust and reliable operation of the waste-to-value plant by reducing frequency upsets by up to 90%. Successful demonstration will lead to widespread adoption and rapid commercialization in the food processing industry, and thereafter to relative industries like pulp and paper and ethanol production.  

Technology for Definition, Development, and Full-Scale Verification of a 1 MW Microturbine/Chiller Integrated CHP Packaged System
Estimated Funding: $3,109,072 total ($2,007,505 DOE)
Partners and Project Description: United Technologies Research Center will define, develop, integrate, and validate (at full scale) a 1 MW microturbine/chiller CHP packaged system. The packaged system will deliver both electrical and thermal energy streams to a large commercial or industrial site at a CHP efficiency exceeding 80% with ultra-low nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions.   

Integrated Advanced Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine System for Increased Utilization of Gaseous Opportunity Fuels
Estimated Funding: $2,020,203 total ($1,284,709 DOE)
Partners and Project Description: Gas Technology Institute will collaborate with Integrated CHP Systems Corporation, West Virginia University, Vronay Engineering Services, KAR Engineering Associates, Pioneer Air Systems, and Energy Concepts Company to recover waste heat from reciprocating engines. The project will integrate waste heat recovery along with gas clean-up technology system improvements. This will address fuel quality issues that have hampered expanded use of opportunity fuels such as landfill gas, digester biogas, and coal mine methane. This will enable increased application of CHP using renewable and domestically derived opportunity fuels.  

Research and Development of an Advanced Low Temperature Absorption Chiller Module Integrated with a CHP System and Demonstration at a Distributed Data Center
Estimated Funding: $2,059,420 total ($729,763 DOE)
Partners and Project Description: EXERGY Partners Corporation, in collaboration with Johnson Controls, Inc., and Integrated CHP Systems Corporation, will develop and demonstrate an advanced single-stage lithium bromide absorption chiller module specifically designed to use low-temperature waste heat from clean and efficient natural gas engines. This will provide the combined reliable power source and cooling load that is critical to data center performance.  

The following two projects have been selected, contingent on sufficient appropriations for fiscal year 2009 and beyond:  

Development of a Microchannel High Temperature Recuperator for Fuel Cell Systems
Estimated Funding: $2,589,218 total ($1,812,451 DOE)
Partners and Project Description: FuelCell Energy, Inc., in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon State University, will develop low-cost, effective heat recovery systems for high temperature operation. The project will develop microchannel-based high-temperature recuperators with very high effectiveness to minimize the required heat transfer area; and select low-cost materials capable of high-temperature operation for heat recovery from fuel cell systems.   

Novel Controls for Time-Dependent Economic Dispatch of Combined Cooling Heating and Power in Light Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Markets with High Temperature Fuel Cells and Gas Turbines
Estimated Funding: $1,863,110 total ($1,282,576 DOE)
Partners and Project Description: The University of California, in collaboration with Seimens Corporate Research, will develop and demonstrate novel algorithms and control systems technology for optimal economic use of clean combined cooling heating and power (CCHP) systems in light industrial, commercial, and institutional applications. This will provide instantaneous control of CCHP systems to enable the system to respond quickly and efficiently to variable heating and cooling loads.  

To learn more about ITP's CHP program, please visit the Industrial Distributed Energy Web site. For more information and resources to improve industrial energy efficiency contact the EERE Information Center at (877) 337-3463.