Cogeneration is a modern heat and power generation technology. It is based on the principle of combined generation of heat and electric energy. A single piece of equipment – a cogeneration unit –simultaneously generates heat and power. Natural gas is usually used as fuel, as well as biogas, propane and other types of fuel.
The combined generation process is an important benefit of cogeneration thanks to which it is possible to generate power and heat with smaller cost than by traditional ways of obtaining energy. This benefit is used by dozens of operators all over Slovakia.
Cogeneration units are widely used in a variety of operations, achieving high efficiency in hotels, hospitals, industrial plants, shopping centres, swimming pools and sports centres, or in district heating systems of towns and cities. Very promising is the use of biogas in waste water treatment plants, in agriculture, and at landfills.
Besides cogeneration units based on gas combustion engines, the process of combined heat and power generation can also run by means of other technology. In particular, the use of turbines is widespread, though they are primarily used for higher performance. Less known are the possibilities of using the Organic Rankine Cycle or steam engine. In both cases, the possibility to also use biomass as fuel is very interesting.