Combined cooling, heat, and power (CCHP) systems—also called trigeneration systems—are the combination of cogeneration plants and absorption chillers. GE’s Jenbacher gas engines and our aeroderivative gas turbines product lines offer an excellent solution for generating air conditioning and/or refrigeration. Cogeneration equipment, such as the single-rotor, two-stage, high-pressure gas turbine paired with a six-stage power turbine, offers high efficiency and low emissions. Absorption chillers provide an economic and environmental alternative to conventional refrigeration with compression chillers. Combining those two elements enables excellent total fuel efficiency, elimination of HCFC/CFC refrigerants, and reduced overall air emissions.

How It Works

Combining a cogeneration plant with an absorption refrigeration system enables the use of seasonal excess heat for cooling. Hot water from the cooling circuit of the cogeneration plant serves as drive energy for the absorption chiller.

  • Absorption chillers produce chilled water by heating two substances (e.g., water and lithium bromide salt) that are in thermal equilibrium to separation, then reuniting them through heat removal.
  • The heat input and removal, achieved in a vacuum at varying pressure conditions (approximately 8 mbar and approximately 70 mbar), brings the materials into imbalance, thereby forcing them to undergo desorption or absorption.
  • Water (refrigerant) and lithium bromide salt (absorbent) are generally used for generation of chilled water in the temperature range from 6 to 12°C. Ammonia (refrigerant) and water (absorbent) are used for low temperature chilling down to -60°C.

Features & Benefits

  • Absorption-based systems for air conditioning are much more efficient and economical in producing low NOx emissions, compared to conventional refrigeration technology
  • By operating with heat, trigeneration uses relatively inexpensive “excess energy”
  • Produced electricity can be fed into the public grid or used to cover electricity requirements of the plant
  • During cold seasons, heat can be used to cover heating requirements
  • Simple, high-quality construction, with no moving parts, enables low maintenance expenses and long intervals between overhauls
  • Operation is noiseless
  • Dual fuel capability is available
  • Operating and life-cycle costs are lower
  • Using water as a refrigerant eliminates use of ozone-damaging substances

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