Cogeneration plants supply both power and thermal energy using a single fuel. They run on a single fuel source, such as natural gas or diesel.
For every unit of power generated, the plant also generates two units of heat. This heat is usually wasted as exhaust in a standard electricity generation plant. But in a cogeneration plant, the heat can be used to heat the building or to provide hot water.
Cogeneration systems can be set up to serve one building or multiple buildings. They also use less water to generate power than conventional electricity generation plants.
Trigeneration systems are very similar to cogeneration systems. They can supply power and heating just like a cogeneration system, and they can also provide cooling.
In a trigeneration system, some of the generated heat is used in conjunction with an absorption chiller to supply building air conditioning systems.
Like cogeneration systems, trigeneration systems can be set up to serve one building or multiple buildings. They also use less water to generate power than conventional electricity generation plants.
Embedded Energy Networks
Embedded networks can be established where electricity infrastructure is privately owned and managed.
They have proved highly effective in shopping centres, high-rise and broad-acre residential developments and commercial/industrial parks.
Embedded networks are established to physically aggregate the energy consumed within a complex to a single metered point. Sub-meters measure tenants’ and common area consumption using the latest in smart interval metering technology.
This type of high-quality, certified sub-meter is used by local network service providers (LNSP) all around Australia, and meet the stringent metrology code imposed on all providers operating in the national electricity market (NEM).
Embedded networks commonly involve the following key participants:
- Tenants – these consumers have selected to purchase electricity from either the embedded network or from the national market via a registered energy retailer.
- Common Area – these meters record the energy consumed for public light and power and any mechanical services.
- Gate Meter – one or sometimes multiple meters record the total energy consumed within the embedded network.
- Embedded networks facilitate the energy on-selling process whereby energy is purchased at a discount at the gate meter and sold to the tenants within the network, again at a discounted rate.