In the last decade, technological innovation and changes in the economic and regulatory environment have resulted in increased attention to distributed energy systems (DES). Combined heating and power (CHP) systems based on the gas-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) are increasingly used as small-scale distribution co-generators. This paper describes an innovative ICE-CHP system with an exhaust-gas-driven absorption heat pump (AHP) that has been set up at the energy-saving building in Beijing, China. The system is composed of an ICE, an exhaust-gas-driven AHP, and a flue gas condensation heat exchanger (CHE), which could recover both the sensible and latent heat of the flue gas. The steady performance and dynamic response of the innovative CHP system with different operation modes were tested. The results show that the system’s overall efficiency could reach above 90% based on lower heating value (LHV) of natural gas; that is, the innovative CHP system could increase the heat utilization efficiency 10% compared to conventional CHP systems, and the thermally activated components of the system have much more thermal inertia than the electricity generation component. The detailed test results provide important insight into CHP performance characteristics and could be valuable references for the control of CHP systems. The novel CHP system could take on a very important role in the CHP market.

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