WHAT IS COMBINED HEAT AND POWER?
Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration (cogen), is the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly process of using a single fuel to simultaneously produce electricity and heat at the point of use.
The installation of a CHP plant offer significant advantages to all sectors which have a simultaneous thermal and electrical load. When a gas engine cogen plant is correctly sized and installed, these advantages include:
- Substantial financial savings on utility costs
- Large carbon reduction
- Increased security of electrical supply
Natural gas is typically used as a fuel source during combustion and releases mechanical energy which converts into electricity via the alternator. Heat recovered from the engine exhaust heat exchanger provides hot water and space heating to local infrastructure.
Cogeneration uses natural gas at extremely high efficiencies in the order of 85% – 90% when compared to conventional means of taking electrical energy from the grid and thermal energy from on-site boilers, which may be up to 40% less efficient.
INDUSTRIES BENEFITED BY A CHP UNIT
An installed CHP plant can benefit a wide range of industry sectors including; hospitals, universities, data centres, farming, agriculture, food and drink processing, sewage and wastewater treatment facilities, industrial and commercial building.
Facilities with 24hr/7day load profiles can maximise savings from a CHP system as longer run hours produce more savings and improve payback times. Furthermore, Combined Heat and Power plants are also suitable for application with lower operational hours, typical 15 hours per day for 5-7 days a week.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A CHP INSTALLATION?
A CHP system is applicable and feasible in both existing and newly-built facilities. However, it is important to mention that the benefits and payback are greater when the cogeneration solution is considered in the earlier stages of a project. For instance, a CHP system is best considered when:
- Designing a new building or energy centre
- Installing new boiler plant
- Replacing existing plant
- Managing electricity supply and security
- Reviewing standby electrical generation capacity
- Considering energy efficiency
BENEFITS OF A GAS ENGINE CHP PLANT
A gas engine cogeneration plant installation provides several substantial benefits, including:
- High electrical efficiency
- High thermal efficiency
- Low operation costs
- Simple electricity production
- Fast project set up and installation
- Flexible power opportunities
- Reduced energy bills – CHP typically saving a minimum of 10% on previous energy expenditure
- Typical return on your investment payback in 3-4 years
- Significant reductions in carbon emissions
- Greater operational resilience – maintains security of power supply
- Future proofing sites from uncontrollable external energy factors – improves financial forecasting (energy spend) and business competitiveness
- Enhances corporate ethics
To summarise, the installation of a CHP unit enables the fastest return on investment as the energy generated from the process can displace grid purchased or supplied power along with on-site generated thermal energy, which includes the cost of fuel, boiler efficiencies, maintenance and replacement equipment.
EDINA’S CHP INSTALLATION SOLUTIONS AND EXPERTISE
We are a market-leading Combined Heat and Power (CHP) provider and the official UK and Ireland distributor for innovative MWM gas engines. Our CHP installations and full 24/7 service and maintenance coverage not only ensure our clients maintain operational resilience, they also significantly reduce their energy costs and help reduce carbon emissions. Our full turnkey/EPC power solution has allowed users to take control of their energy asset and increase their competitiveness as costs continue to rise.