Using Heat More Efficiently

Published on 01.08.2015

15 min read

High School
Technology

Large amounts of are released to the atmosphere instead of being captured to serve connected user sites. Coordinated public policies are needed to meet the key challenge of capturing and redistributing this “lost” energy in district heating systems.

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Photo of two gas-fired boilers, which contribute to the production of heat and electricity in the district heating network in Le Mans, western France.

How Does Cogeneration Work?

Cogeneration, or combined heat and power (CHP), is the simultaneous production and use of thermal energy – in other words, heat – and mechanical energy, which is usually converted into electricity. The advantage of this technology is that it optimizes a plant’s efficiency by recovering the heat instead of releasing it into the environment.

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Heat Sources and District Heating

Like electricity, fuel and hydrogen, heat is an essential energy carrier. The challenge is to recover it or produce it from renewables, then deliver it to connected user sites, either clustered nearby or farther away.

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Obstacles to Overcome

The chain that carries heat from the point where it is produced to the point where it is used is made up of many links. They are not easy to join, and it takes technical modifications, capital expenditure, regulations and a political commitment to do so.

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