Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems are an increasingly popular option for residential and commercial consumers looking for reliable, efficient, cost-effective energy solutions.

Whether you want to reduce your carbon footprint or lower your energy bills, CHP systems may be the answer. However, it is important to understand the considerations for sizing a CHP system properly, as your system needs to meet the needs of both your space and your budget.

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems are a highly efficient way to generate on-site electricity while recovering waste heat to provide space heating or hot water. CHP systems have the potential to reduce your energy costs by 30–70% when compared to the cost of purchasing electricity and heat from the grid.

This overview will provide information on sizing considerations for CHP systems, including key points such as selecting the right size generator, selecting the right fuel source, and understanding the load requirements of your space. With this information, you can make an informed decision and design a CHP system that meets your needs and budget.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Cogeneration, often known as combined heat and power or CHP, is the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat.

CHP systems can be employed in various situations, but they work particularly well in structures with high and recurring electricity and heating needs. When used in this way, CHP systems can provide several benefits.

  • Lower Energy Costs: CHP systems can decrease your energy costs by 30–70% compared to the cost of purchasing electricity and heat from the grid.
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Many fuel sources can produce electricity in a CHP system, including natural gas, propane, biogas, biomass, and solar. Depending on your fuel source, you can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 80%.
  • Improved Reliability: In Iceland, for example, about half of the country’s electricity comes from CHP systems installed at schools, hospitals, and farms. These systems are incredibly reliable because they are connected to the grid but can operate autonomously during a power outage.
  • Improved Security: CHP systems are self-sufficient and produce reliable electricity. As a result, CHP systems are well-suited for remote or off-grid applications where regular access to electricity may be an issue.
  • Improved Energy Efficiency: They can help to improve energy efficiency by capturing waste heat that would otherwise be lost and using it to generate electricity or heat water.
  • Improve the Reliability of Power Supplies: CHP systems can help to improve the reliability of power supplies by providing on-site generation that can operate even when the grid is down.

As a result, CHP is an ideal choice for buildings with a high demand for electricity and heat.

CHP Specifiers

CHP specifiers must consider various variables, including the site’s unique requirements and the project’s motivations. This can be challenging, but ensuring that the CHP system is sized correctly is essential.

One of the most important considerations is the thermal load. This must be carefully calculated to ensure that the CHP system can meet the heating and cooling needs of the site.

Another important consideration is the electrical load. The CHP system must be sized to meet the electrical system’s demand while also considering any potential problems with voltage or power quality.

With many variables to consider, sizing a CHP system can be complex. However, ensuring that the CHP system can meet the site’s needs is essential.

Incorrect Sizing

The incorrect sizing of a CHP unit is the number one cause of sub-optimal CHP performance.

If a CHP unit is too small, it can result in organisations using energy inefficiently. If a CHP unit is too large, it can result in organisations losing out on significant financial benefits. The optimal size of a CHP unit is essential for ensuring that organisations are using energy efficiently and maximising economic benefits.

Organisations should seek expert advice to ensure their CHP unit is the correct size for their needs.

Maximise Efficiency

To maximise efficiency, it is generally advisable to size your CHP to meet the “base load,” which is the minimum demand for energy and heat over a given timeframe. This way, you can ensure that your CHP system is continuously operating at its optimal level, maximising efficiency and cost savings.

With the rising energy cost and the increasing focus on reducing carbon emissions, CHP is an increasingly attractive option for businesses and households.

Critical Points

  • Ensure the CHP system is sized to meet the thermal and electrical load of the site.
  • Calculate the site’s thermal load to ensure that the CHP system can meet the heating and cooling needs.
  • Consider any potential problems with voltage or power quality when sizing an electrical load.
  • Seek expert advice to determine the optimal size for the CHP system to maximise efficiency and cost savings.
  • Size the CHP system to meet the “base load,” which is the minimum level of demand over a given timeframe.
  • Optimise the CHP system to ensure it is continuously operating at its optimal efficiency level.

With an understanding of the key considerations for CHP specification, you can ensure that your project meets its goals and maximise energy efficiency and cost savings. Organisations should consider the site’s unique requirements and motivations to reduce energy costs and save money and size the CHP system appropriately.

By following these considerations, businesses and households can ensure they are making the most of their CHP systems.

Conclusion

Contact us today if you’re looking to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions.

Our team of experts can help you size a CHP system that meets your unique needs and maximises efficiency. We can also provide expert advice on utilising a CHP system to meet your specific requirements.