SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Jennifer Frankland
TIME: Monday, June 10, 2013, 11:30 a.m.
PLACE: MARC Building, 201
TITLE: A Model-Based Feasibility Study of Combined Heat and Power Systems for Use in Urban Envrionments
COMMITTEE: Dr. Bert Bras, Chair (ME)
Dr. Sheldon Jeter (ME)
Dr. John Crittenden (CEE)


In the U.S., 40% of energy use was for electricity generation in 2011, but two thirds of the energy used to produce electricity was lost as heat. Combined heat and power (CHP) systems are an energy technology that provides electrical and thermal energy at high efficiencies by utilizing excess heat from the process of electricity generation. This technology can offer a decentralized method of energy generation for urban regions which can provide a more reliable, resilient and efficient power supply, and has a lower impact on the environment compared to certain centralized electricity generation systems. In order for the use of CHP systems to become more widespread and mainstream, studies must be performed which analyze their use in various applications.
This work examines the use of a CHP system with a microturbine as the prime mover in residential and commercial scenarios and analyzes the feasibility of various system configurations. Energy models are developed for three building scenarios using eQUEST and EPlus, and these results give the energy requirements for each building. CHP system models are then developed and presented for each scenario, and the building energy requirements and system component sizes available are considered in order to determine the optimal configurations for each system. The CHP system models designed for each scenario are then analyzed to find energy savings, water impacts, and emissions impacts of the system.
The models created provide information on CHP system component sizing, system efficiencies, and environmental impacts, as well as CHP system performance compared to the use of traditional centralized energy systems. CHP has the potential to significantly improve the resiliency, reliability and efficiency of the current energy system in the U.S., and by studying and modeling its uses we more completely understand its function in a range of scenarios and can deploy the systems in a greater number of environments.