A CHP system can include one or more heat sources generating heat output and producing emissions. The CHP system can further include one or more power converters configured to convert the heat into a useful power output. The power converters can deliver the balance of heat to one or more thermally-activated devices (TADs) configured to convert the heat into a useful thermal (heating and cooling) output. The method for configuring the CHP system can comprise the steps of: representing the useful power output by the power converters as a function of the heat output by the heat sources; representing the useful thermal output by the TADs as a function of the heat output by the heat sources; representing the specific emission output as a function of the heat output by the heat sources; and determining the values of the individual heat source heat output which are sufficient to attain the pre-defined levels for useful power output and useful thermal output, while meeting the regulated specific emission levels.
 The disclosure described herein was made during the course of or in the performance of work under U.S. Government Contract No. 4000009518 awarded by the Department of Energy.