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Exceptional Energy in Action

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems (or mCHP -micro-CHP- in smaller sizes), are relatively new systems that allow simultaneous generation of electricity, power and also heat. These systems offer an alternative to purchasing electricity from electricity grid suppliers.

This process, also commonly referred to as ‘cogeneration’, allows for heat and electricity to be produced simultaneously using a single fuel source and constitutes an energy efficient solution that can cut both carbon emissions and energy costs by generating electricity on site.

The component of the CHP system that converts fuel to useful work (prime mover) can be in the form of an internal/external combustion engine running on LPG. This prime mover is in turn connected to an electricity generator. 
Heat exchangers capture the residual heat produced and transfer for space heating or water heating purposes.

LPG-fueled CHP systems hence produce thermal and power output, addressing both heating and electrical needs for institutional, agricultural, commercial, and industrial facilities.

Micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) systems are a smaller scale version of standard CHP units (on the terms of the rated electrical output – up to 5kWe). Micro-CHP systems use an internal combustion engine, most efficiently fueled by LPG, to generate heat and power a small internal electrical generator. They are used mainly in residential developments and small businesses to both provide heat and generate electricity with higher efficiency and lower emissions levels than conventional heating and grid-supplied power systems.

Features

  • CHP systems are compatible with a variety of HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) systems and can be easily added or retrofitted to an existing CHP system, helping it to operate more efficiently.
  • They run quietly and are vibration free, emitting marginally more sound than a typical refrigerator.
  • Micro-CHPs have a very small footprint and are typically no larger than a regular air-conditioning unit/gas boiler.

Benefits

CHP systems provide heat and generate electricity with higher efficiency and lower emissions levels than conventional heating and grid-supplied power. Thermal energy generated by the Micro-CHP unit can be used for many different needs including space-heating, water-heating, as well as pool & spa heating.

  • Cheaper Electricity:  Depending on geographical region, electricity produced on-site can cost less than half of what it would if bought from a power supplied.
  • Self-Dependence:  Another benefit is that CHP systems offer a degree of independence from external providers.
  • Greater Efficiency: On-site electricity production also avoids the typical losses that are associated with national/regional transmission and distribution networks effectively making CHP electricity more efficient than grid electricity. This makes CHPs up to 70-90% energy efficient (electric and thermal), significantly reducing carbon emissions.
  • Avoided Costs:  The avoided use of the wider electricity network reduces (in principle) the maintenance requirements of such infrastructure from the electric utilities/network operators, which (in theory) has a positive effect on standing charges. In some countries this aspect is rewarded through a utility payment.
  • Potential Additional Income:  Excess electricity can be fed and sold back to the grid, often at a reasonable price.
  • Heat Storage:  Excess thermal energy may also be stored, in a buffer, for consumption at a later time (in the order of days).
  • Back-Up Assistance:  CHP systems can be quickly fired-up to assist with electricity production at times of peak demand. This helps cuts fuel bills. Many parties are now looking into the idea of a ‘virtual power plant’ of many connected CHPs.
  • Controllability/Predictability:  CHP generation is controllable. It provides electricity on demand, in contrast to other low-carbon but inherently intermittent technologies like e.g. solar PV or wind power.

Manufacturers (5) and Resources