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  • Writer's pictureCraig Drabyk

Instrumentation & Controls in Cogeneration & Trigeneration

Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), is the process in which a single fuel source is used to produce both electrical and thermal energy. Most cogeneration plants in the U.S. are operated by non-utility companies and institutions. These on-site plants capture waste heat to be used to produce thermal energy for reuse such as process steam, hot water, space heating, and cooling, or as fuel to generate even more electrical power.

Trigeneration, or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) is similar to cogeneration, but it generates cooling in addition to heating and electricity. Both plant types are highly efficient, providing substantial energy savings and reducing environmental impact. They can range in size from small units to large plants serving industrial sites, college campuses, or entire towns.

The instrumentation and controls contractor for a cogeneration or trigeneration project is responsible for controlling the utilities (natural gas, water, etc.) feeding the major equipment and installing communications between the vendor control systems to ensure safe operation of the processes. Smaller CHP projects typically utilize pre-assembled package equipment such as gas compressors, turbines, and HRSGs (heat recovery steam generators), while larger projects typically require more field assembly due to larger equipment size. It is essential that I&C contractors like Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., work closely with vendors on equipment assembly, startup and functional testing, and loop check and precise calibration are of utmost importance. As with any complex project, proper commissioning is key to operating an efficient and safe cogeneration or trigeneration plant.

About Omni

Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., located in New Jersey and Maryland, is a premier instrumentation and electrical contractor, providing superior total care solutions since 1986. Services include instrument installation, tubing installation, instrument calibration, control loop testing, startup and commissioning, power and lighting, process control wiring, BMS wiring, telecommunications and data wiring, fire alarm wiring, security wiring, process network wiring, and control panel fabrication. Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., is certified in Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet and ASI-Bus installation.

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