How Combined Heat and Power Systems Work
A reciprocating engine runs a generator that produces electricity. Hot water from the engine jacket and exhaust gas heat are then recovered through an exhaust gas heat exchanger and utilized for hot water. This hot water can be used for heating and/or cooling.
If steam is required, the exhaust gas heat exchanger is removed, and the exhaust gases from the combustion process are diverted into a steam generator. The hot water from the engine jacket can be either be used to pre-heat condensate return, or for lower-temperature hot water applications.