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A combined heat and power (CHP) is a modular system for producing electrical energy and heat , which is preferably operated at the location of the heat consumption , but also useful heat can be fed into a district heating network. It employs the principle of a combined heat and power.

To drive the generator to internal combustion engines , ie diesel or gas engines as well as gas turbines or fuel cells to be used.

Usual CHP modules have electrical powers between five kilowatts and five megawatts. Below 50 kW is also called mini - combined heat and power ( mini -CHP) , under 15 kW micro -CHP . Mini and Micro CHP is used in single and multi-family homes , farms and settlements. Combined heat and power is also used in thermal power stations , there typically with electrical outputs of several hundred MW.


Essential for the economic viability of a CHP plant is a great number of annual operating hours in the high load range of the engine ( typically about 4,000 full load hours per year). The aim here is to balance the investment in economically by the financial remuneration for electricity generated and amounts of heat ( or reduce the costs of such ) the system.