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Comparison of High-Efficiency Distributed Cogeneration and Large Combined-Cycle Power Generation

[+] Author Affiliations
John R. Martin

Pacific Energy Systems, Inc., Portland, OR

Paper No. GT2003-38109, pp. 693-700; 8 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2003, collocated with the 2003 International Joint Power Generation Conference
  • Volume 1: Turbo Expo 2003
  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA, June 16–19, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3684-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3671-1
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


The fundamental conclusion of this paper is that high-efficiency distributed cogeneration is substantially more energy efficient and economical than large, remote, combined-cycle power plants. The cogeneration case produces lower emission levels, consumes less water, and distributes these impacts over a wider geographic area. The siting of large electric power generating facilities is commonly focused on locations that are distant from energy load centers. The choice of distant locations can be explained by the NIMBY “not in my backyard” mentality. New facilities are usually located at the intersection of high-voltage electric power transmission lines and natural gas pipelines to supply fuel and to deliver energy to the grid. Unfortunately, developers do not always understand the load-carrying capacity of electric transmission systems and the cost and schedule requirements to expand them. The siting process normally does not consider the overall efficiency of delivered energy, embedded costs including infrastructure expansions, marginal air emissions, and marginal water consumption. Siting high-efficiency distributed cogeneration facilities at major load centers produces significant energy efficiencies and fuel cost savings and can reduce the high cost of major transmission improvements. Modern cogeneration facilities are usually difficult for the public to identify within the boundaries of a large industrial plant and have environmental impacts that, in many cases, are positive (e.g., reducing local air emissions). This can help diminish the public’s NIMBY reaction. In this paper, the efficiency, delivered cost of energy, marginal air emissions, and water consumption of a modern combined cycle power plant are compared to those of a high-efficiency distributed cogeneration facility.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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