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The essential CHP checklist – our 3 steps to Combined Heat and Power

How we identify the ideal CHP system for your organisation

The 3-step journey we take to identifying the CHP system you need

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems differ from organisation to organisation. Few sites have exactly the same needs, so it’s rare for us to recommend the same system more than once. Failing to adapt to the needs of your site could impact on long-term success and return on investment.

We design and install CHP systems tailored to help you to reduce costs, improve resilience and decarbonise. To do this, we need to find out what your requirements are – and how we can get it right for your site and organisation. So what do we look for when designing your CHP system?

Installation team discussing plans

1. Initial technical assessment

The first step in any CHP project is for us to define if it is suitable for your site. Although most organisations will benefit from CHP units, others will not. We’ll also consider the size of the CHP system required for optimum financial and environmental benefits.

An energy audit is essential to identifying the right technologies and capacity. For projects that require retrofitting, we need to obtain accurate electricity and heating consumption data. We’ll need half-hourly readings of your consumption – either you or your energy supplier can provide these, or we can record them using temporary monitoring equipment.  We’ll then use this data to create energy profiles and a heat-to-power ratio.

With consumption requirements calculated, we’ll then move on to other environmental considerations. 

  • How critical is the security of your energy supply? 
  • Does your site have any expansion plans that may increase energy demand and site base load? 
  • Does your organisation have any other plans in place for implementing energy saving measures that may affect base load calculations? 
  • Do you have any adjacent sites that could use excess electrical and heat energy when demand is low on the main site?

We’ll keep asking questions until we have a complete understanding of your site and energy requirements.

Team discussing work at a table

2. System design considerations

Off-the-shelf CHP systems can be supplied as a complete factory-tested solution – including heat recovery equipment. But more complex deployments, or those requiring integration with existing systems, will require special consideration.

First, we’ll assess the physical constraints of where the CHP will be installed. 

  • Is there enough space for the unit – and all the ancillary equipment and pipes?
  • If not, what is the scope of the additional infrastructure work required to accommodate the new system? 
  • What are the environmental impacts of the chosen installation location?

We’ll also carefully consider interconnection with other utilities, particularly the primary fuel supply (natural gas, biofuel etc) and the building’s electrical, heating and cooling systems, as well as a connection for remote monitoring.

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3. Check permissions and funding

Before making any system recommendations, we’ll check whether the appropriate permissions are in place. 

  • Will planning permission be required? 
  • Does the proposed system comply with G99 application, MCPD and all other consent requirements?

Ultimately, much of your CHP purchasing decision may be decided on price. We’ll provide an accurate project cost, and an estimate of ongoing maintenance costs too. You can then offset this against the longer-term cost savings expected from the new CHP system.

Finally, we’ll outline the benefits and incentives that may be available to your organisation. CHP projects often qualify for funding or tax relief. We’ll make sure our proposal references all schemes applicable to you, and how they are claimed.

The CHP specification process can be complex. But with our support, you’ll soon be ready to purchase a Combined Heat and Power unit that helps you to balance the demands of planet and profit.

Putting it all together

It’s vital that the CHP system we recommend for you meets the needs of your site and organisation. To make sure that your system operates at its full potential, and that it’s safe and compliant, we need to make sure we get the details right.

But with our steps to specifying Combined Heat and Power, we can help you to accelerate your journey to a low-carbon future – tailored to the needs of your organisation. For more information on specifying a CHP system to meet your requirements, contact our team today.

Our 3 essential steps to recommending your perfect CHP solution are:

  1. Initial technical assessment: obtain accurate site energy data, create load profiles, check the system operational schedule and optimise system sizing to meet energy demands
  2. System design considerations: check equipment can be accommodated on-site
  3. Permissions and funding: review project costs and savings, ensure accreditation and compliance, and consider all options to finance the project
Headshot of Aaron Parker

Aaron Parker

Aaron Parker is Centrica Business Solutions' Head of CHP Sales, he supports customers across a range of industries - including public sector, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, hotels, leisure and manufacturing - to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. He has over a decade of experience within business development and two decades within engineering solutions.

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