Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) refers to the onsite production of electricity and thermal energy from the same fuel source. Integrating power and thermal energy production is more efficient than separate generating systems and used in the right situation can yield several benefits.

Combined Heat and Power

  • A form of distributed generation
  • An integrated system
  • Located at or near a building/facility
  • Provides at least a portion of the electrical load and uses thermal energy for:
    –– Space heating/cooling
    –– Process heating/cooling
    –– Dehumidification

As shown in the figure below, CHP systems can operate at efficiency levels much higher than traditional systems.

The "Expanding Combined Heat and Power" handout with this information may be downloaded:  Expanding CHP in Iowa [PDF: 766k].

The “Combined Heat and Power Resource Guide” for Iowa provides CHP permitting guidance for Iowa, a state and regional contact directory, financing incentive summary, and links to additional resources.  The guide may be downloaded: CHP Resource Guide: [PDF: 3.3MB]

Recent Events

CHP Operators Workshop - November 6, 2014
The Energy Office hosted a workshop geared toward operators of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems to provide a forum to discuss the operation and maintenance of these unique systems with consultants, service providers, other operators and technical assistance providers. The workshop included a tour of the University of Iowa’s recently upgraded Oakdale campus district energy system that includes two gas fired internal combustion engine generators with heat recovery. The electric system is capable of operating in island mode, or in parallel with the grid for load management. When operating in CHP mode, the system operates at an overall efficiency of 80 percent. Presentations also included tips to improve the performance of a CHP system and keep operating costs down, best management safety practices, gas conditioning information and more from industry experts. View the event presentations.

BOMA Iowa - March 10, 2015
Cliff Haefke, Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois, Chicago, co-presented with Shelly Peterson, IEDA, to the Building Owners and Managers Association of Iowa (BOMA Iowa) on March 10, 2015 at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa. The presentation focused on the concepts, benefits, and opportunities of combined heat and power (CHP) in the commercial and institutional building sector. View the event presentation.

To learn more: