The U.S. Department of Energy has selected the University of Maine to lead one of eight regional partnerships dedicated to the promotion, technical support and deployment of cost-effective and highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) technologies nationwide. UMaine, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Watson Strategy Group, will oversee the CHP Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) center in the New England region, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
“Combined heat and power systems offer real solutions to today’s energy issues — supporting economic development
through improved energy efficiency, increased energy resiliency and lower energy costs.” David Dvorak
The UMaine-led New England Combined Heat and Power Center (NECHPC) and the seven other CHP TAP program centers nationwide are supported by $25 million of DOE funding. NECHPC will receive more than $2.5 million of that total.
CHP — also known as cogeneration — is an efficient and clean approach to generating electric power and heat from a single fuel source, like biomass or natural gas. Heat and power can be produced on-site, reducing the need to purchase electricity from the distribution grid, greatly increasing energy security and resiliency.
David Dvorak, UMaine professor of mechanical engineering technology, is the principal investigator on the project. Other UMaine investigators are Scott Dunning, director of the School of Engineering Technology, and Brett Ellis, assistant professor of mechanical engineering technology.
The project is a natural fit within the scope of the School of Engineering Technology. Engineering technology faculty are licensed professional engineers with advanced engineering degrees are focused on industry application and applied research. This project will enhance opportunities for faculty and graduate students to provide direct technical assistance to industrial and commercial clients.