Case history: TRIGENeration plant in Continental

Logo Continental

The TRIGENeration system (CCHP – Combined Cooling, Heat and Power) is a local generator producing electric power, heating power and cooling power which creates significant benefits in terms of cost saving, power continuity and quality, energy independence and emissions reduction.



Technical features:

    • Electric Power: 1.189 kWe
    • Thermal Power: 1.312 kWt (hot water at 90°C)
    • Cooling Power: 879 kWf (cold water at 7° C)
    • 7.800 operating hours per year


  • 45% of electricity consumption is produced by the CCHP system
  • 95% of electricity production is self-consumed
  • 70% of energy requirements for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) produced by the CCHP system
  • CO2 emissions reduction of 893 tons per year, corresponding to CO2 absorbed by 89.300 trees in one year
  • Payback period: less than 3 years!

Making visible the invisible

PercorsoInside the power plant you can see the technical equipment as gas pressure reduction cabinet, the huge endothermic engine with electrical generator, waste heat exchanger and the absorption chiller. However, the plant is not just an efficient and innovative system: it is a learning experience and an element of design, designed by Lorenzo De Bartolomeis. Specifically, you can experience the TRIGENeration technology by following an energy path through the system.

To make it easy to understand what happens you can follow colored lanes on the floor.

Each color is representing an energy flow:
Yellow: Natural Gas
The natural gas is powering the endothermic engine that generates electricity and heating power
Green: Electrical Power
The electrical power feeds all the electricity consuming activities inside the plant
Red: Heating Power
The heating power heats the plant and generates cooling power by driving an absorption chiller
Blue: Cooling Power
The cooling power feeds the air conditioning system of the manufacturing plant and the clean rooms.

Frecce e leaf meter

Transforming data into values

Measurements create awareness and awareness creates attention to behaviors. At the end of the path there is the Leaf Meter, the sustainability gauge developed by Loccioni and designed by Giorgio Di Tullio, which measures and communicates in real time the energy performance, the environmental impact and the economic advantages of the system.

Interview with Mr. Wolfgang Guell, Energy Manager at Continental and Mr. Claudio Baccini, Plant Facility Manager at Fauglia
The TRIGENeration power plant installed in Fauglia is an important step towards sustainability. Why did you decide to implement this technology?
Guell: To maintain competitiveness in countries with high energy costs as in Italy it is important to keep the energy costs under control.
Beside this it is our corporate responsibility to reduce the impact of our business activities on the environment.
With the high energy efficient TRIGENeration technology offering an interesting payback it is possible to reduce both – energy costs and emissions.

Leaf Meter

• The TRIGENeration power plant will reduce significantly CO2 emissions. How is this perceived inside Continental and how is it communicated to employees in the plant?
Baccini: It is important that people are aware of the environmental targets Continental has and the technologies introduced to reduce the impact on the environment.
The Leaf Meter will help to increase the awareness for the energy topic. It will inform in real time about the main results as primary energy savings, cost savings, CO2 emission reduction and supports communication.

• What are Continental´s targets by 2020?
Guell:  Within the Powertrain Clean Power Vision Continental wants to establish a sustainable energy supply for the manufacturing plants.
Target is to increase energy efficiency and reduce the emissions by 20% until 2020.
Main intervention areas:
o Behavioral change: Focus on waste reduction
o Use of advanced technologies to increase energy efficiency
o For replacement of equipment focus on energy efficient solutions to reduce lifetime energy costs and consumption