What is CHP? An introduction
Cogeneration is a more efficient form of power generation as the losses from transmission are lower providing greater fuel efficiency from generating the power on-site.
Combined Heat & Power (CHP) converts a single fuel into both electricity and heat in a single process at the point of use. CHP is highly energy efficient and as well as supplying heat and power, it can deliver a number of positive financial, operational and environmental benefits.
CHP is a well-proven technology, recognised worldwide as a viable alternative to traditional centralised generation. With CHP, an engine which is normally fuelled by natural gas, is linked to an alternator to produce electricity. CHP maximises the fuel and converts it into electricity at around 35% efficiency and heat at around 50%. Heat is recovered from the engine by removal from the exhaust, water jacket and oil cooling circuits. Typically a good CHP scheme can deliver an efficiency increase of anything up to 25% compared to the separate energy systems it replaces.
With conventional generation, typically coming from a power station, there are significant losses both in waste heat and transmission. With CHP generation the heat and power is generated on-site making it more efficient.
CHP should always be considered when:
- Designing a new building
- Installing or replacing a new boiler plant
- Replacing or refurbishing an existing plant
- Reviewing electricity supply
- Reviewing standby electricity generation or plant
- Considering energy efficiency in general
- Exploring options towards building regulation compliance
- Reducing CO2 emissions and environmental impact.