U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Advanced Manufacturing Office – Industrial Distributed Energy

Feasibility Analysis

If your walk-though has given you a reasonably short payback estimate, you'll want to go on to a feasibility analysis. This screening step requires more knowledge. For example, you'll want to be sure that you select the appropriate prime mover for your application so that you can serve both your electrical and thermal energy needs.

For most feasibility analyses, some sort of computer program will be used. Many consulting firms and energy service companies offer services in this area. If you choose to do the analysis in-house, you may want to consider one of the computer tools listed in this recent survey of distributed energy resource (DER)/combined heat and power (CHP) software tools.

For industrial CHP projects, DOE has recently sponsored an update to the Cogen Ready Reckoner. The Ready Reckoner compares on-site CHP alternatives with traditional electricity/boiler baselines. It is available at no charge.

There are many cogeneration publications available to anyone wanting to learn more about cogeneration. Here is a list of current favorites.

Joseph A. Orlando, Cogeneration Design Guide, available from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE), Atlanta, GA, 1996

This is an excellent resource with a broad scope. Its useful information includes a clear and explicit consideration of the different levels of project evaluation and the related layered steps in gathering site and project information (see Chapter 6). This volume was published by ASHRAE in 1996 so it doesn't include information about some of the newer smaller combustion turbines.

Payne, F. William, editor, Cogeneration Management Reference Guide, Fairmont Press, Inc, Lilburn, GA, 1997

This is a collection of articles and presentations that cover initial planning, operating experience, reliability, environmental restrictions, and institutional issues. A quick screening tool is presented, along with reliability data and operating and maintenance costs from existing plants.

Private Power Executive, Pequot Publishing, Inc., Huntington, NY, 516-385-1637

The semi-monthly magazine covers non-utility power generation news, including cogeneration. Useful information on financing and worldwide project status is available.

Gas Turbine World, Pequot Publishing, Inc., 1583 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06430, 203-255-2225

This is a monthly magazine (annual handbooks as well) giving performance specifications for commercially available gas turbines, invaluable unless using a computer code that includes such a library.

CADDET (International Energy Agency/ Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) - Center for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies, Netherlands

Caddet produces numerous publications that deal with cogeneration, providing a host of case studies and allowing us to learn from the advancements made in countries with higher energy costs (and therefore a greater incentive to use energy efficiently).

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme, Energy Efficiency Enquires Bureau, Harwell, England, at estueng@aeat.co.uk and at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/

The Energy Efficiency Best Practice Program in Great Britain has resulted in a collection of useful reports intended to facilitate combined heat and power installations and covering all aspects of cogeneration systems. Two volumes were reviewed: "Guidance Notes for the Implementation of Small Scale Packaged Combined Heat and Power" and "Introduction to Small-Scale Combined Heat and Power." Both were very useful and informative.

F. William Payne, Ed., Cogeneration and Competitive Power Journal, Lilburn, GA, 7709388

This is a quarterly journal that summarizes papers and presentations from a wide variety of forums. The articles include some useful and well-documented case studies.