No, not the California Highway Patrol (nor CHiPs), Cogeneration (Combined-Heat Power) is combining the production of electricity and heat. Right now, major US electricity production has waste heat that is that, waste. Tremendous opportunities exist in the Untied States for converting this “waste” to something useful. And, well, in America’s homes, the (just-finished winter season) heating goes on without generating electricity. That, however, is starting to change with the introduction of some Micro-CHP systems suitable for the homeowner and small business. (Excellent site for discussion.)
Climate Energy sells a micro-CHP that provides 120,000 btu heating system that generates 1.2 kilowatts of electricity. While not enough to fully cover most homes electricial needs (perhaps covering half the total electrical load over a year), in the heating season, the Micro-CHP system has a high efficiency rating.
Simply put, combined heat and power means that the fuel normally used to keep a home warm is used twice, first to produce electric power and then to heat the home. The Climate Energy freewatt™ is heat-led, and electric power is generated whenever heat is produced to satisfy normal space or water heating demands in the home.
Climate Energy points out that a traditional grid electricity/home fuel furnace combination wastes over 60% of the availabe energy. The Micro-CHP system reduces that waste to just 7-17%.
Climate Energy markets in the North East.
One ‘hot’ market for home CHP is the United Kingdom. According to the Gizmag discussion Household heating takes pole position on the electricity grid
It is currently estimated that such mCHPs in homes and businesses could ultimately generate up to 20 GW of the UK’s energy demands, which is equivalent to the UK’s existing nuclear capacity. They are also far more efficient than centrally producing energy through power stations and more flexible too as energy is generated at the point of demand in the home, rather than through power stations, where the overall efficiency can be just 45 percent, compared to the 90 percent for a mCHP.