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5 steps for CHP maintenance

Maximise the cost reduction benefits and performance of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) by prioritising operations and maintenance.

1. Consider O&M in the design phase

Maintenance starts at the project design stage, when consideration must be given to good access for servicing and repair of equipment. CHP operating at part loads will run with reduced efficiency and maintenance costs will increase.

That’s why maintenance is imperative to overall cost-efficiency over the system’s lifetime. Factor lifetime maintenance costs into assessing economic feasibility of your CHP to accurately calculate return on investment. 

As a leading CHP vendor, with large nationwide CHP fleets across the UK, Ireland and Europe, we are able to pass on our economies of scale through competitive service rates. As such, we can  include lifetime maintenance agreements as a fixed cost or within flexible financing packages – providing complete care from project inception to end of life.

Plan for success

When planning your CHP, make an allowance for maintenance downtime at scheduled times – ideally when energy demand is lower than normal. A major engine overhaul is best carried out during a period when heat demand is low, such as in summer months. Alternatively, it could coincide with other specialist equipment maintenance downtime, such as boiler inspections.

Fit the CHP system with instrumentation and metering to allow for live monitoring and recording of critical system parameters. These include: 

  • Temperatures
  • Pressures and flow rates
  • Fuel consumption
  • Electricity output
  • Heat supplied to site and hours of operation

2. Assess performance and prevent problems with remote monitoring

Continuous monitoring is the backbone of any maintenance strategy and can be performed remotely at low cost.

It is critical to have a remote 24/7 monitoring system for your CHP. This will instantly identify any performance or preventative maintenance issues, enabling quick rectification before they develop into problems.

Gain full visibility and control of your CHP

Centrica Business solutions' energy management software, PowerRadar™ comprises an onboard communications system that feeds back live operating parameters to our 24/7 control centre and to our customer's own devices. This provides total visibility of how your asset is performing across all key parameters.

Our software brings the intelligence and visibility you need to understand and analyse your entire energy estate – providing a single view to visualise and track performance, notify you or us of a change in state of the plant on site and diagnosis of over 200 problems remotely. By taking a smart, informed approach to maintenance, major problems are avoided, system efficiency and longevity is optimised, and the lifetime costs of caring for your CHP asset are reduced.

Use the data to make a diagnosis on any potential issues, make minor adjustments to the CHP operation, and schedule maintenance and repair visits. By taking a smart, informed approach to maintenance, major problems are avoided, system efficiency and longevity is optimised, and the lifetime costs of caring for your CHP asset are reduced.

Compliance reporting

Performance monitoring is also required to demonstrate that the CHP has met the requirements for Good Quality under the CHP Quality Assurance (CHPQA) programme. which provides partial exemption from Climate Chance Levy (CCL) and a number of other tax benefits.. Our PowerRadar system supports the assessment process, including generating CHPQA compliance reports.

Achieve optimal energy efficiency and performance

Learn how to take control of your energy strategy with PowerRadar

Watch our video and discover how PowerRadar enables organisations to understand, manage, and optimise their energy estate – providing them with the intelligence they need to power their energy strategy.

3. Incorporate maintenance within a commercial agreement

Including O&M within your commercial agreement protects your organisation further, by reducing asset performance risk and ensuring there is a financial motivation for your provider to deliver the service you expect.

For example, our Discount Energy Purchase scheme covers supply, installation and lifetime operation and maintenance with zero capital costs to the customer. To ensure fairness, service fees for ongoing operation and maintenance are linked to power performance levels.

Under this model, we recover our investment via charging a discounted rate for the generated power. This tariff is always set at a lower rate than grid supplied electricity, after accounting for increased gas consumption costs. All captured heat is supplied free of charge.

4. Define and select the right service package

Achieve set performance guarantees and warranties by servicing CHP units in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Reputable CHP suppliers offer comprehensive maintenance and service plans that cover:

  • Routine servicing
  • Remote performance monitoring and fault diagnosis
  • Equipment repairs
  • Guarantees on CHP availability of operation 

Regular servicing is necessary and should be carried out by trained CHP engineers. Inspection and servicing typically includes: 

  • Inspection and replacement of spark plugs
  • Changing/sampling engine oil, including safe waste oil disposal
  • Replacing oil/air filters
  • Engine calibrations, adjusting valve settings
  • Battery condition checks
  • Checking emissions testing set-up
With over 30 years' O&M experience, we will keep your energy estate running optimally.

5. Choose a provider who can do it all

Centrica Business Solutions' Complete Energy Care Solutions packages provide businesses with flexible operations and maintenance support for their distributed energy assets . We have hundreds of engineers located across the UK,  Ireland and Europe - providing local O&M support to more than 1.7k organisations. Spare parts are available for quick-dispatch from our warehouses.

We provide three CHP service plans (Standard, Premier and Premier Plus), dependent on  the level of care your business requires. All plans include 24/7 remote monitoring and access to our dedicated CHP Support Service Desk; available 7-days-a-week/365-days-a-year. Bespoke service packages can also be agreed.

  • Periodic inspection and servicing is critical and should be carried out by trained engineers
  • Reputable CHP suppliers will have the required knowledge of the CHP design and specialist experience of maintenance practice to offer the best after sales service
  • CHP operation should be checked by condition and performance using round-the-clock remote monitoring
  • Your remote monitoring technology should be capable of real-time identification, diagnosis and fault fixing

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