CHP – the wise energy choice for smart buildings

For buildings with high heating or cooling demand, it is difficult to match the cost effectiveness and carbon reduction benefits of combined heat and power (CHP) technology.

CHP or cogeneration is a reliable and proven ‘work horse’ – providing the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat/cooling. It is typically 85% efficient  and is around twice as efficient as conventional power generation where the generated heat is wasted and further losses of approximately 7% occur in transporting the electricity from remote power stations to customers.

CHP can achieve cost saving of up to 40% over electricity sourced from the grid and heat generated by on-site boilers.  As a carbon-cutting technology with a formidable track record, CHP is a cost effective tool for improving cost and environmental performance, while improving long-term energy security.

Systems powered by natural gas or other fossil fuels will  reduce carbon emissions by approximately 20%, while the carbon reduction benefits are even better for those systems primed by biofuels or biogas.

Cogeneration also provides the energy security businesses are seeking since it will ensure companies can continue to operate processes and keep the lights on in the event of power failure. It is a dependable source of emergency power – perfect for critical situations such as data centres, hospitals and manufacturing operations.

Payback can vary depending on the size and the scale of the project, as well as the rates that the business is paying for gas and electricity, but typical payback is between 3 and 5 years.

The fusion of CHP with other technologies can work effectively. Biomass boilers combined with gas CHP are a key example..

Where there is sufficient load at the site and at the appropriate temperatures to support the installation of a CHP system and ground source heat pumps, then there is the possibility of delivering an ultra-low carbon solution through the application of the combination of these two innovative technologies.  Although ground source heat pumps can deliver extremely high coefficients of performance, grid supplied electricity is required to power the refrigeration compressor. 

With the presence of a CHP system at the same site, the electricity generated by the CHP unit can be utilised to power the heat pump.  The CHP system is effectively decarbonising the operation of the heat pump and, in so doing, improving the carbon reduction credentials of an already renewable solution.

Efficient lighting schemes, especially refurbishments and retrofits are an effective combination with CHP. These can provide further cost, carbon and energy savings. It is ideal to work out the benefits of a new lighting scheme before sizing a CHP system as this can affect the level of demand, so linking these technologies has multiple benefits.

Additionally, adding a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) to a project can provide additional savings and allow you to control all your technologies, including a CHP from one place. This can allow you to optimise your energy usage and provide further savings. 

ENER-G’s CHP systems are installed in hospitals, museums, horticulture, hotels, district heating schemes, leisure centres, supermarkets, factories, and even in the Royal Palaces of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

ENER-G are Europe’s leading provider of packaged CHP systems from 4kWe to over 5MWe in size. The company project manages and finances integrated energy solutions – combining CHP with solar, lighting, building controls and other energy saving technologies and services to provide cost and carbon reductions for businesses.

Further information: www.energ.co.uk/chp

Comments are closed.