The identikit. Trigeneration: what to know about it

“Trigeneration’ is the combined production of electricity, heat and cooling. Here is what you need to know about this technology and the products of Century Corporation and Capstone Green Ener-gy, both partners of the IBT Group, with relevant case studies to give you a complete and in-depth overview.

What is trigeneration

Trigeneration refers to the combined production of electrical, thermal and cooling energy, using turbine cogenerators to power absorption chillers used in air conditioning systems or industrial processes. Also known by the acronym CCHP (Combined Cooling, Heating and Power), trigenera-tion can be used for both heating and cooling needs: not surprisingly, it is widely used in sectors that require cooling systems. A trigeneration plant, like a cogeneration plant, can be powered by liquid or gaseous fuels, from fossil or renewable energy sources. From these fuels, and through the recovery of heat produced and originally dispersed during the power generation process, three energies are obtained in combination: electrical, thermal and cooling. Better exploitation of the fuel’s calorific value means that less energy is dispersed, which leads to savings in both economic and environmental terms, since less fuel consumption helps reduce CO2 emissions into the at-mosphere.

Trigeneration: Century and Capstone technology

IBT Group provides cogeneration and trigeneration plants aimed at energy efficiency, custom-designed and using the latest technologies in different sectors, from Chemical, Paper, Residential, Hotel & Wellness, Food & Beverage, in short in all production sectors where efficiency is com-bined with the need to modulate and pursue the EU measures “Fit for 55” to reduce CO2 emis-sions. Capstone turbines, for example, are used for both cogeneration and trigeneration, conse-quently also powering absorption chillers that produce chilled water to be used in the air condi-tioning system. Capstone’s “oil-free” patent, unique in the world and of aeronautical origin, refers to the complete absence of lubricating oil thanks to special air-bearings that support the turbine shaft in rotation without mechanical contact, limiting friction only during start-up and shutdown, while ensuring a significant reduction in energy bills, low maintenance and zero emissions. Centu-ry chillers, through the absorption process, also ensure high energy efficiency with 2000 kW cold produced with less than 10 kW electric. They are also eco-friendly (100% ozone safe, CFC free), easy to use, silent and low maintenance.

Both partners of the IBT Group therefore guarantee high energy efficiency, always respecting the environment, by means of standard products or products that can be adapted to customers’ needs, thanks to trigeneration processes.

Case studies: CEM Ambiente and Conad

The first case study refers to CEM Ambiente, the former landfill site, converted into a park, in the province of Milan, where a trigeneration plant has been installed, which makes the most of the fuel even with the low concentrations of methane present in the biogas of a landfill at the end of its life cycle. Here there are 5 Capstone CR65 Landfil gas turbines fed with biogas of biological origin with IAFR qualification; thanks to the thermal energy produced by the turbines, and through a heat recovery system, hot water is also produced for heating the offices and cold water for air conditioning by means of a Century absorption refrigerator.