Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Chicago Generates Twice the Energy for a Third of the Carbon

chicago cogeneration energy efficiency carbon emissions[social_buttons]When generating electricity, roughly two-thirds of the energy is lost. Heat is created as a byproduct to spin turbines and later wastes away in cooling towers. Chicago has committed to produce 1.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity by 2010 with a process call combined heat and power or cogeneration, which finds use for the generated heat. This process can be over 90% efficient.

Excess heat can be used for dehumidification, heating water, and process heat. In an ideal world, the electricity and heating loads for the given application are similar. Hospitals, prisons, paper mills, oil refineries, waste water treatment centers, and even large towns can be good candidates for this technology. Your car can even be an example, with waste heat from the engine being used to warm the interior.

Case study: Antioch Community High School

Twelve micro-turbines are powered by landfill gas (LFG), producing .36 megawatt hours of electricity and heat for the 250,000 square foot school. This was the first high school in the country to utilize LFG for this purpose and savings are an estimated $100,000 annually in energy costs.

LFG is pumped from an adjacent landfill, which was previously a superfund site. The annual greenhouse gas reduction is equal to removing 3,000 cars from the road.

cogneration waste heat

Case study: Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Since 1933, the museum has been one of the largest tourist attractions for the city and now has another noteworthy feature. A 1.75 megawatt cogeneration system was recently installed that produces electricity, heat, and dehumidifies the museum.

The dehumidifiers can treat an impressive 10,000 cubic feet per minute and operate approximately 3,380 hours a year. Because the heating season in Chicago is about 7 months of the year, this function provides value to the museum during the cooling months as well.

Related Posts on Alternative Energy:

4 Things to Consider Before Going Solar

Solar Thermal Electricity: Can it Replace Coal, Gas, and Oil?

New Water-Cooled Supercomputer Will Use 40% Less Energy

Chicago Suburb Preserves Night Sky With Innovative Light Ordinance

How Solar Panels Could Power 90% of US Transportation

Illustration Credit: Graham Murdoch

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Electrifying Industrial Heat for Steel, Cement, & More

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

is passionate about the new green economy and renewable energy. Sarah's experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and is a co-founder of Trees Across the Miles, an urban reforestation initiative. When she can escape the internet vortex, she enjoys playing in the forest, paddling down rivers, or twisting into yoga poses.


You May Also Like


Methanol is like hydrogen. Job one is to decarbonize existing uses before inventing new ones. As a marine fuel, it's not the best choice.

Climate Change

Satellite “completeness” is a new and powerful concept in the push to slash climate pollution.


Methane from cow poop is big business. Fossil fuel companies are ecstatic about the possibilities of the new "brown gold."

Clean Power

The methane industry has created a new political action campaign that targets Democratic voters in blue states.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.