What you should know about CHPs

Combined Heat and Power Units (CHP) are environmentally friendly, they reduce ongoing energy costs and conserve resources.  Given those facts, it is not surprising that the number of CHP units on the energy market is steadily increasing, but a CHP should not be built too quickly and like most projects, planning is key. The apparent complexity of CHP technology in particular can often be confusing, and the laws governing the promotion of CHP often act as a deterrent. With a competent CHP partner at your side, to handle the design, planning and construction processes, the complexities need not be an issue.

In general, a CHP mainly uses gaseous fuels such as natural gas, biogas, or sewage gas which drive a reciprocating engine. In this process, the pistons are set in motion by the combustion of a propellant gas. The crankshaft converts the translational motion into rotary motion, which in turn is transformed into electrical energy in the generator. During the entire conversion from chemical to mechanical to electrical energy, heat energy is released at the same time. A CHP delivers power and heat from a single fuel source.

CHPs are not the ideal solution for every business. To justify the considerable effort required to install a CHP unit, there should be a minimum constant demand for electricity and heat. This lower benchmark should be no less than 1,500 MW per year electrical, and about 1,000 MW thermal power p.a. This should ensure that the CHP runs efficiently and economically.

While larger operating power plants lose a lot of energy during transmission via high-voltage lines, decentralised CHPs have a clear advantage. The energy is generated where it is needed. Likewise, CHP plants can react flexibly to volatilities. They are therefore not only more efficient, but also serve the grid system.

In addition to their environmental friendliness and minimised CO2 emissions, the reduced use of primary energy is also a major advantage of CHP technology as this conserves resources and reduces ongoing energy costs. In addition to all the advantages, however, a CHP also has disadvantages. One is the high purchase price which is significantly higher than for other heating systems. Compared to a boiler, a CHP unit also requires more maintenance because the technology is more complex.

At this point in time Kent-based 4CleanTech comes into play.

4CleanTech offers to design, purchase, monitor and maintain CHP units for energy-intensive businesses. The customer’s energy supply remains secure and energy costs are reduced, typically by between 15-30%, sometimes more.

The customer faces no investment in the purchase of the CHP nor the costs for maintenance and monitoring. They only pay for the electricity consumed and for the heat used, at a significantly lower rate than their grid supply.

The specialists at 4CleanTech will ensure the proper planning and design of the CHP unit to achieve efficiency as well as economic and ecological benefits.

To discuss CHP, Power Purchase Agreements and overall energy efficiencies tailored for your business, please contact 4 CleanTech: mjl@4-cleantech.com or (+44) 07565 948 686.