There are many who believe that combined heat and power (CHP) will be the norm in building design for the next generation of engineers. A discussion about CHP is not complete until one considers the cooling needs in a building, especially in data centers. To maximize the performance of a CHP system, we would use the waste heat of a prime mover all year:
Many buildings will benefit from engineers offering CHP with absorption chillers to their customers such as hotels and resorts, food processing, cold storage facilities, breweries, supermarkets, health care, etc. Data centers, however, offer a unique opportunity for absorption chillers. Since data centers have a good balance between electric and thermal loads all year, the operation/commissioning of the CHP plant can be optimized to meet the relatively flat annual load profile. Data centers do not have the seasonal variations that require equipment to operate at part load most of the time. Data centers require reliable and high-quality power. In addition, there are great strategies and technologies available to allow data centers to significantly reduce operating costs, even though data centers are an all-electric operation.