Trigeneration, also known as CCHP, is a system which uses a single fuel to simultaneously produce energy for heating, cooling and electricity. The trigeneration plant at Lamborghini, for example, uses natural gas. The thermal energy produced by the fuel is used for air conditioning via the refrigeration cycle of an absorption chiller, which is based on a phase-changing refrigerant combined with an absorbent. The trigeneration plant at Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. has an installed capacity of 1.2 MWh. Electricity is supplied to the plant as a whole via a transformer, while the thermal energy is delivered via a new hot-water piping network. The original cogeneration plants are used to provide back-up when there are peaks in demand.
The installed thermal capacity of 1,190 kWh is used to meet demand during the winter months from November to March. In summer (from April to October), the refrigeration output of approx. 890 kWh is absorbed by the company’s main refrigeration units. This project has a number of different objectives, the most important of which is to reduce CO2 emissions. By operating the system on natural gas, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by an estimated 823 t CO2. With a number of minor modifications, it will be possible to convert the system to run on biogas in the future.
Biogas-Powered District Heating System Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Automobili Lamborghini is Italy’s first automaker to operate its own district heating system. This system pipes hot water to the plant from a biogas-powered cogeneration plant in Nonantola, approximately 6 km away. The hot water (85°C) is pumped through underground pipes to the plant, where the thermal energy is used for heating. Forecasts indicate that the biogas cogeneration plant, which has a total capacity of 1 MW, will in future provide Lamborghini with at least 7,200 MWh of thermal energy annually. This will reduce annual greenhouse emissions by an estimated 1,780 t CO2.