Loughborough University, in Leicestershire, East Midlands was established in 1909 and currently has over 20,000 students and staff. The university campus is spread over 433 acres.
Since 2001 the University has been purchasing 100 percent of its power from renewable sources and was the first in the country to do so. Part of this initiative was an advanced energy centre incorporating 3 combined heat and power (CHP) units providing heating, cooling and electricity to the site.
In 2008 the university contacted ENER-G to provide operation and maintenance for the 15-year old units. After a site visit, it was determined that due to the low efficiency of the system, replacement was a more cost effective option for the long term.
ENER-G proposed that they were replaced with a 1MW unit, with a caterpillar engine, which is more efficient and more reliable.
In January 2009 the unit was commissioned, delivering 1,317kW heat and 1,030kW electricity per hour to the site.
The CHP system, installed by ENER-G now enables the campus to generate its own electricity further promoting its commitment to sustainability.
The replacement of the CHP units was funded entirely by ENER-G through the Discount Energy Purchase (DEP) agreement.
ENER-G also provides the operation and maintenance of the system, and sells the electricity generated to the university at a discounted rate. Installation costs were kept low by utilising existing infrastructure. Including a chiller.
In 2009, the CO2 savings achieved by the CHP systems was approximately 2,839 tonnes. This is equivalent to 283,939 trees.
As part of the package, the university has 24 hour support from a team of ENER-G engineers and a stock of spares are kept on site to ensure the 98% availability is maintained.
The applied CHP technology enables the organisation to generate its own electricity, radically reducing carbon emissions. This method is highly energy efficient (85 per cent) as it recovers heat created in the electricity generation process and avoids transmission losses because the energy is used locally.
In conventional power stations, which are only 30 per cent efficient, this heat is wasted because it disappears into the atmosphere. Instead, the University can use it to provide heating and hot water.