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Four steps to integrate CHP with existing systems

If you're considering refurbishing your boiler or plant room, now is the time to think about using Combined Heat and Power (CHP).

There has never been a better time to integrate a money-saving CHP unit with your refurbished boiler plant system.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is often a consideration when replacing a boiler plant. Why wait when there are significant financial and efficiency benefits that can be gained from integrating CHP plant with your existing system today?

Here are your four steps to integrating CHP with existing systems.

1. Start the process

There are several reasons for investigating CHP schemes. A periodic review of your energy strategy or increasing energy and carbon costs, for instance. Or, the need to replace an ageing boiler plant.

Whatever the reason, you should conduct a thorough review of energy usage, as well as heating and cooling efficiencies. This will give you visibility of how your business uses energy, how much it costs, and where improvements can be made. You will also have a baseline against which to measure change and future cost savings.

2. Choose the right CHP scheme for you

With the review complete, the next step is to explore the available CHP choices. The government’s online CHP Site Assessment Tool will be able to help narrow down the options.

Your energy specialist can help translate your energy review into a requirements specification. You can then approach CHP equipment suppliers to assess products, and understand what meets your energy requirements.

The electrical efficiency of a CHP system can increase with size. It is important to ensure any potential CHP plant is sized for optimum operation. As a general rule, the CHP system should be sized to the baseload of your heat and electrical demands.

If the baseload is less than 4,500 operating hours per year, CHP may not be the most appropriate application for your organisation.

It is also essential to plan ahead. Check the availability, price and supply reliability of the preferred CHP technology’s primary fuel. Otherwise, the chosen system may not generate the return on investment you expect.

3. Maximise the benefits

There are two ways to maximise the benefits of your chosen CHP technology investment. First, verify that your scheme will qualify for the Combined Heat and Power Quality Assurance Programme (CHPQA). Although voluntary, participation in CHPQA entitles your organisation to numerous benefits, including government funded incentives and schemes.

Second, arrange a regular programme of maintenance to ensure the CHP system continues to perform optimally. Any reduction in efficiency will reduce the available savings.

4. Be creative

The heat and power needs of your business are paramount – and sometimes it pays to consider the bigger picture. Are there any neighbouring organisations with heating and cooling requirements that your business could help supply, for instance? This could provide another useful revenue stream – and justification for investment in a larger, more efficient CHP system.

To learn more about CHP and how your business can increase energy efficiency, please download our eGuide: The journey to Energy Efficiency