Increased electricity demand, escalating costs, pressure on the grid and a greater drive towards sustainability mean that businesses are looking for alternatives to centralised supply – one that enables efficient on-site energy control. With the spark spread at an incredibly attractive rate, the opportunity presented by Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to deliver a source of power that takes advantage of this provides secure, flexible energy supply that is cost-effective and easy to manage.
But these are only some of the considerations that consultants need to take into account when working with clients on a CHP installation. You need an energy solutions partner who can ensure any CHP installation is scoped, installed, operated, maintained and optimisation for optimal performance. A provider that gives real-time knowledge and insight into individual usage, emissions data and helps meet compliance regulations.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a well-established technology, but one that is constantly evolving to keep it amongst the best energy-saving solutions available. It’s one of the most efficient sources of energy production – and can play a role in supporting a business’ net zero transition by providing significant cost savings for UK businesses. With a return on investment in the region of two to three years, CHP drives cost efficiencies into the organisation that can be used to fund pure green technologies with longer paybacks and more marginal economics.
Matching flexibility to your project
Clearly, the most important thing to consider before investigating a CHP solution is whether it is right for an organisation to utilise the technology. To make this assessment and scope a project there are several steps that you and a solutions provider can take to ensure the appropriateness of CHP for the site.
Energy data collection is fundamental for correctly sizing a unit and calculating the associated savings accurately. The appropriate site data needs to be collected and validated, with at a minimum a requirement for utility consumption of the site (grid electricity and natural gas) and the associated tariffs (i.e. p/kWh).
Producing an initial feasibility study using data collected in a desktop setting will validate the data outlined and provide a simple evaluation of whether a CHP scheme is likely to be feasible or not. The output is often conducted by calculating the spark-spread between the grid electricity tariff and the natural gas tariff.
Conducting an on-site review determines more solid installation options and cost by understanding the sites suitability for CHP and interfacing with all site services required to deliver optimal performance. Installation costs can vary dramatically from site to site depending on several key factors:
- Location of CHP plant
- Gas availability
- Space allocation
- Planning implications
- Noise issues
- Local regulations
- Maintenance restrictions
- Electrical connections i.e. LV, HV, network restrictions
- Thermal integration
- Emissions regulations