When commercial scale operations are planning the building of new facilities or improvements to existing, they should consider cogeneration CHP or trigeneration CCHP. For some industries quadgeneration CHP may be more applicable. Read below for an overview which should address some frequently asked questions.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) or Cogeneration (Cogen) is a well-established technology that generates simultaneous electricity and heat from a fuel input.
Cogeneration can save up to 30% on primary energy costs when compared to the separate purchase of electricity from the electricity grid and gas for use in on-site boilers.
CHP has been used for many years all over the globe across different industries in several forms (steam boilers and steam turbines, gas turbines, steam boilers and steam turbines, reciprocating engines and heat recovery systems). The systems used are generally determined by the available fuel source, market sector and scale.
In the UK following the privatisation of British Gas in 1986 and the dash for gas in the 1990s, CHP in industry grew rapidly with the installation of gas turbines and steam boiler plants, and within the commercial sector and hospitals with the installation of gas engine plant. Today, due to the reduction in plant size and the requirements for greater operational flexibility gas engines CHP has become the leading technology of choice.
With the drive towards a sustainability zero carbon economy all the major manufactures have biogas and biomethane green gas engine variants and are future proofing their technology to use hydrogen (mixed or pure).
As a proven technology CHP can deliver generation efficiencies up to 95% utilising low carbon natural gas as a fuel source. As the gas grids become green, the carbon footprint of CHP will reduce. CHP can use zero-carbon fuels directly to deliver zero or a negative carbon output.
Trigeneration, or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP), is the simultaneous production of electricity, heat and cooling all from a single source. The heat and electricity are produced by the normal operation of the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, and an absorption chiller is also added as a way of producing energy-efficient cooling from the heat output of the CHP.
An absorption chiller is a refrigerator that uses a heat source to provide the energy needed to drive the cooling process. Absorption chillers do not have moving parts, as such there is little to no wear and tear on the technology and Operation and Maintenance costs are very low. In addition to this when considering it as part of a wider solution due to the technology the overall lifecycle costs are low. This makes it attractive on solutions whereby part or all the heat may not be required from the engine. Absorption chilling whilst beneficial should only be considered on applications whereby the hot water or steam demand is little or none and the cooling demand is consistent and high.
WHAT IS COMBINED COOLING HEAT AND POWER ?
A Quadgeneration plant is an advanced gas engine power configuration which, produces electricity, heat, and cooling, but also recovers carbon dioxide from engine exhaust gas. The carbon dioxide can be segregated to reduce emissions, or used in certain horticultural or manufacturing processes. Under the right conditions, a Quadgeneration system can help an organisation reduce its carbon footprint, cut utility costs, and ensure onsite power resilience.
Do contact us to arrange an informed discussion about a combined heat and power system for your commercial premises.
Our qualified engineers have a wide knowledge of all types of heating installations. Our engineering project management team can assist with everything ranging from consultation to scoping, design and development, testing and deployment as well as servicing, maintenance and compliance agreement.