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Emissions spark spread and primary energy spark spread – Environmental and energy screening parameters for combined heating and power systems

Applied Energy
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.03.042
  • Spark Spread
  • Chpsystem
  • Emissions Spark Spread
  • Primary Energy Spark Spread
  • Emission Reduction


Abstract The spark spread, or price differential between electricity cost and fuel cost, may be used to indicate whether a combined heating and power ( CHP) system shows a cost benefit in a certain situation over a conventional separate heating and power system. This paper extends the spark spread concept to address the emission of CO 2 and the consumption of primary energy by introducing two parameters: the emissions spark spread ( ESS) and the primary energy spark spread ( PESS). ESS and P ESS are evaluated in 16 US cities for three different CHP system efficiencies, and compared to the minimum ESS and minimum P ESS required for a CHP system to potentially reduce CO 2 emissions (CDE) or primary energy consumption (PEC). Since the fuel mix used in electricity production, which varies with location, affects the amount of CDE or PEC due to the use of a CHP system, this paper also presents the ratios ESS/ ESS min and PESS/ PESS min that could be used for a simple analysis of the potential of a CHP system based on CDE and PEC.

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