What is cogeneration

Cogeneration is a process used to simultaneously generate electricity and heat.
Generally, only 40% of the energy generated by combustion engines is converted into electricity. The rest, as much as 60%, is converted into heat, but this thermal energy disperses in the atmosphere without producing any benefit.

Cogeneration plants improve energy efficiency in an eco-friendly manner, allowing savings of over 40%.


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The cogeneration process recovers the thermal energy induced by combustion, producing both electricity and heat.

In this way more than 90% of the capacity of the plant is exploited.
Consequently, for the same amount of fuel, the total energy generated during a cogeneration process is more than double that of a traditional electrical generation plant, with obvious advantages from both an economic and an ecological standpoint, significantly reducing emissions of CO2 and pollutants.

Furthermore, by using a cogeneration plant to cover one’s own energy needs, the dispersion of electricity which invariably occurs during transfer over the national distribution network is minimised.
This aspect is associated with the concepts of micro-cogeneration and localisation: the former involves cogeneration plants of less than 50 kW destined, therefore, to cover the – relatively limited – needs of a single structure (small and medium enterprises, nursing homes, hospitals, communities…), while the latter refers to the proximity of the plant to the reference structure in order to reduce losses due to transfer.

Cogeneration has also paved the way for trigeneration, i.e. the process that produces electricity and thermal energy, in the form of both heat and chilled water which can be used for air conditioning or for industrial processes requiring low temperatures. In this way, it is possible, for example, to manage the temperature of the rooms of a public place according to the seasons and the external climatic conditions, by cooling in summer and heating in winter.

Cogeneration plants reduce waste by exploiting over 90% of the potential of energy.