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Saint John’s University (SJU) and Saint John’s Abbey (SJA) of Collegeville, Minnesota own and operate a cogeneration power plant. The produced steam serves two purposes: electricity generation and provision of campus heat. The focus of this study was a natural gas boiler which is the most efficient and environmentally favorable boiler in operation. Data for this study were collected on November 8 & 9, 2012. This data set was analyzed using thermodynamic theory which ultimately led to the determination of the efficiency of each power plant process. The calculated efficiency values were applied to a unique set of differential equations which accurately described power plant operation. The overall efficiency of the Saint John’s University cogeneration power plant was determined to be 73.4 ± 3.6% which is notable in comparison to other cogeneration facilities. Electricity generation was determined to be the least efficient process of the power plant.


Approved by: Adam Whitten, Todd Johnson, Troy Knight, Dean Langley, Anthony Cunningham

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