NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Lexington, MA, United States, 2009/03/27 - Distributed cogeneration systems increase energy efficiency to 80% by utilizing the waste heat released by the generation system for space heating.
DuCool has introduced dehumidification and cooling solutions that dramatically improve the energy efficiency of cogeneration systems by utilizing their waste heat to provide cooling and dehumidification. DuCool’s systems combine desiccant dehumidification with evaporative or geothermal cooling to upgrade co-generation systems to a tri-generation system. This approach eliminates the need for conventional mechanical cooling and reduces the energy required for cooling by up to 90%.
Conventional combustion power generation systems convert only approximately 30% of consumed fuel into electricity. In centralized production systems another 7% on average is lost as the electricity is distributed from the power-station to consumers. Distributed cogeneration systems increase energy efficiency to 80% by utilizing the waste heat released by the generation system for space heating. Since the power is produced locally, there are no transmission losses.
However, during a large part of the year, cooling rather than heating is needed so the advantages of cogeneration are lost and efficiency returns to the 30% level. DuCool's systems provide high efficiency all year round by utilizing waste heat for cooling and dehumidification. The emissions and carbon footprint attributed to the building is reduced by a roughly similar amount. Cool water for the cooling process can be taken from any convenient source such as a cooling tower, geothermal well, river, etc.
DuCool can retrofit existing cogeneration systems with dehumidification and cooling or provide a complete tri-generation system including all components. In addition to improving cogeneration systems, DuCool systems can utilize low grade heat which can be found in abundance in many industrial manufacturing facilities to generate energy efficient cooling and dehumidification. For example, the waste heat of conventional chillers can be used to reduce operating costs of cooling systems by about 40%.
An additional important benefit of DuCool’s systems is the improvement of indoor air quality. The desiccant solution used in the DuCool systems disinfects and cleans the air eliminating approximately 91% of micro-organisms and 80% of airborne particles larger than 5 microns, including allergens such as pollen and dust.
DuCool’s desiccant dehumidification and cooling systems provide year-round energy savings in any climate. For example, in the warm climate of Florida, a micro turbine provides electrical power to an ice skating arena while the DuCool desiccant system utilizes waste heat to cool and dehumidify the rink year-round. In the temperate climate of New York, an internal combustion engine provides power and its waste heat is used by a DuCool system for heating in the winter months and cooling in the summer. In a Mediterranean climate of Greece, solar heat is utilized for cooling year round at a 90% reduction in energy costs compared to a conventional chiller.
DuCool’s systems can operate with much lower hot water temperatures 120-185 F (50-85 C) than other cooling and dehumidification systems such as desiccant wheels and absorption chillers. DuCool's desiccant dehumidification units are more cost effective and require lower hot water temperatures than absorption chillers. This is because DuCool’s open-cycle systems operate at atmospheric pressure while absorption units are closed-cycle systems operating at near-vacuum sub-atmospheric pressure conditions. The DuCool systems have a unique process in which during the dehumidification process, air is internally cooled and the air leaves the unit dry and at a comfortable temperature. As a result, much lower temperatures are required for regeneration compared to desiccant wheel dehumidification systems.