Cogeneration also called combined heat and power, is a process whereby waste heat is collected from a heat source and is used for something else.
Most of the time this means taking waste heat from a reciprocating engine, such as Caterpillar or Cummins, or from a turbine, such as Capstone or GE, and using that heat to assist a boiler or absorption chiller.
The waste heat can also be used to facilitate an industrial process that uses steam or boils the product precursors.
Another application for cogeneration is biogas digesters. These take waste, plant or animal, and allow bacteria to digest the waste, producing methane. Normally this methane would enter the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and causing health problems, but if the waste is placed in a digester then your facility can be carbon neutral or negative. In addition to the environmental benefits, it is also a good investment providing heat and electricity to the facility as well as sterile fertilizer in a thermophilic digester system. If you are interested in learning more about biogas systems click here!