Combined Heat and Power Systems are designed to help improve efficiency for every home or business. However, to do so, you need to ensure they are appropriately sized and specified. This ensures each one generates the required amount of electricity and excessive heat is not wasted but rather utilised to heat water or the space available. Calculating CHP efficiency is a preliminary check which enables you to understand the potential savings for your business. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to calculate it.
What is CHP Efficiency?
The efficiency of a CHP system refers to its ability to maximise energy production while reducing waste or expense as much as possible. It is the means by which these systems help to save you money. Having an efficient system means that it will produce the exact amount of energy your business needs – not too much as this will create waste and not too little that you have to become dependent on mains grid electricity again. Additionally, combined heat and power systems improve efficiency as standard because they make good use of thermal energy that would usually be wasted. This is redirected and used to heat water and warm spaces.
How to Calculate CHP Efficiency
To understand the efficiency of a system, you need to calculate two measures – total system efficiency and effective electric efficiency.
Total System Efficiency
This compares the efficiency of your CHP unit to grid-supplied electricity or an on-site boiler. It helps you to understand what the potential benefits would be from swapping to a combined heat and power system.
Effective Electrical Efficiency
If your main electricity comes from power plants, this is the calculation you would use to understand efficiency in comparison with your CHP unit.
In the UK, we are most likely to take into account the total system efficiency across businesses. To calculate this, we use the following equation:
Net useful electric output + net useful thermal output / total fuel energy input.
Most CHP units, specifically those used in large scale manufacturing or industrial settings have a total system efficiency of between 60-80%.
How Can Energimizer Help?
At Energimizer, we work hard to ensure that every single client we work with gets a system that is perfectly specified to their needs. Optimising on efficiency is a key focus and something our experienced engineers place at the height of importance. If you would like to discuss your site needs or want to speak to one of us, please do get in contact with us here today for more advice.