Cogeneration refers to a system that produces two useful sources of energy: electricity and heat (see Tecogen cogenerator on right). Occidental Power sells, installs and services Tecogen cogenerators that burn natural gas to power a generator, which produces electricity. The generator is cooled by water, producing hot water as a by-product. Unlike conventional electric generators, cogenerators harness the "waste" heat instead of throwing it away. Our installations have included health clubs, municipal pools, and apartment buildings with large domestic water heating, pool water heating, or space heating requirements.
In the right application, natural gas cogenerators can pay for themselves in two to five years. One of our clients reduced their utility bill from $100,000 to $50,000 by installing a natural gas cogeneration system. These natural gas cogenerators produce 60 kilowatts of electricity continually, provided there is a heat load to accept heat from the generator. Water is heated by the generator to provide hot water or air for domestic use, pool water heating, or space heating. Cogenerators are a 90% efficient means of producing both electricity and hot water at the same time.