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CHP maintenance: answering the frequently asked questions

CHP maintenance needs to be taken seriously. We’ll give you all the information you need to know.

You’ve installed a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) solution. What happens next? Just as there are myths and misconceptions around the business case for CHP, there’s also a misunderstanding around the wraparound operations and maintenance that’s required. Our customers often ask us questions about the important of lifetime maintenance for CHP systems – and the importance of having a preventative maintenance system should not be underestimated.

I’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions that we often hear around CHP maintenance, so you can receive up-to-date information. Whether you’re contemplating if you can complete the maintenance yourself, or if you want to know more about what a good maintenance agreement looks like, this brief summary can help.

How often does CHP need to be serviced?

CHP engines are designed to run continuously. They will usually require the equivalent of five to six maintenance calls per year. So it’s important that you partner with an Operations and Maintenance provider – like Centrica Business Solutions – who has the engineers, servicing equipment, spare parts and consumables ready to go at the right time, to keep everything running as it should and avoid downtime.  

Does my CHP really need to be monitored?

In short, yes. Monitoring will help to identify issues with the operation, if any repairs are necessary, or if the system isn’t performing to its maximum output. Monitoring does not have to take time out of your day, though. This can be done remotely. With a cloud-based system, critical information can be seen on an engineer’s smartphone, helping the to react to and rectify problems quickly.

Does ‘fit and forget’ mean I don’t need to worry at all?

Not entirely. ‘Fit and forget’ means customers can leave the daily management of the CHP to the specialist maintenance providers. However, customers need to be constantly aware that if there are changes on-site that could affect the CHP operation, they need to advise the maintenance providers as soon as possible. Adjustments can be made immediately via the monitoring system, which will help keep the CHP working efficiently.

Can I decide how to deal with CHP maintenance later?

Maintenance really needs to be discussed at the project design stage and included in the project specification. Communication protocols for monitoring systems and even spare parts allocations can be planned and incorporated into the CHP project design.

Factor maintenance costs into the economic feasibility of the CHP so that these do not become an unwelcome impact on the project’s return on investment. Lifetime maintenance agreements are designed to provide complete care from the start of CHP operation for a fixed cost, giving the maximum long-term savings which can then be budgeted for.

Can I maintain my own CHP?

It’s not recommended. Maintenance providers have experienced, trained engineers who are Gas Safe registered, have received full electrical training in-house and are kept up-to-date with all legislative and technological advancements.

It’s a maintenance provider’s business to be cost-effective in what they do, whether it be the management of service and resource scheduling, allocating spare parts, or the more onerous activities of dealing with CHP system diagnostics.

How can I justify the cost to my stakeholders?

By regularly maintaining and servicing your CHP, you can maximise it’s efficiency and lifetime savings. By having greater visibility and control over the performance of your CHP, you can secure the lifespan of your solution, and make sure you’re getting it’s full cost reduction potential.

What’s more, we offer a range of different service plan packages, each with clear and predictable pricing, so you can choose a plan that’s tailored to your specific needs.

How are other businesses benefiting from their CHP maintenance solution?

We’re proud to have worked with Alton Towers, to both manufacture and install their CHP, and manage their ongoing maintenance requirements.

Our expert support team is responsible for the operation and maintenance of their onsite CHP, ensuring that any issues are dealt with quickly. As a result, their solution generates up to 850kWh and has cut their energy costs by 12%. Read the full case study here.

Key takeaways:

  • Preventative maintenance reduces the chances of equipment breakdowns.
  • It should include remote monitoring and control, all year round, to keep the CHP system running continuously for optimised efficiency.
  • CHP maintenance providers are able to react fast to any operating issues.
  • Customers should take advantage of the ‘fit and forget’ solution.
  • Long-term maintenance agreements extend the solution by including major planned works within the complete maintenance package.

Discover how a maintenance agreement from Centrica Business Solutions can power your CHP’s lifetime operation.

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