Cogeneration is a specific technology that allows the conversion of energy source (eg solar energy) into both electricity and heat. The main feature of the system is a higher overall energy efficiency, as the heat produced by the transformation is not dispersed but recovered. Demand for small cogeneration plants is increasing as they can produce electricity which can be used on site or can be directed straight into the network; they also produce thermal energy used for heating and for sanitary hot water.
Basically a cogeneration system combines the advantages of a PV system with those of a solar thermal system: it is therefore a significant advantage in terms of energy efficiency with the same installed power and space required for the system installation.
The main advantages of the small generation can be listed as follows:
- use of thermal energy otherwise dispersed;
- decrease of fuel consumption;
- decrease of air pollution;
- decrease of electricity distribution chain with a related reduction of electricity supply line losses;
- decrease of production and distribution infrastructures (power plants and power lines).
There are further benefits gained from the installation of a system such as Trinum, namely:
- overall conversion efficiency of solar energy by 55.2% (with 13.8% electrical efficiency and thermal efficiency of 41.4%);
- system is 100% recyclable;it does not require the use of inverters because it produces electric power into AC which is streamed directly into the network;
- allocation of a system of automatic solar tracking and presence of digital data transmission for the remote control;
- it uses an area which is half the one occupied by the conventional photovoltaic and thermal panels with the same electrical and thermal energy produced;
- tax deduction equal to 55%.