How to draft a quality specification for a cogeneration unit
A well-developed, comprehensive specification that matches a cogeneration system to the power and heat requirements of a project is essential for the project to meet financial and emissions targets.
A good specification should develop throughout the design process, becoming more detailed in-step with the building design.
Cogeneration units must be appropriately sized. Gas engines operate most efficiently at full capacity, so specification should be sized on the base electrical and thermal load. Use of thermal stores, heat trim, or using heat for cooling (tri-generation) is possible where electricity generation is paramount.
Modern cogeneration systems come equipped with a variety of measures to reduce any potential airborne pollutants at source. However, mitigating measures - where not already pre-engineered as part of the unit, such as catalytic converters, may be required – with implications for costs, space and operational logistics.
Noise and vibration issues are all sorted when it comes to cogeneration by acoustic enclosures and acoustic treatment of the engine.
Maintenance arrangements must be considered from the start. Other heating appliances must be able to meet the full heating load while the cogeneration system is offline for maintenance. The location of the system must give sufficient access for maintenance, including removal of the engine block.
A well specified cogeneration system will operate continuously (discounting maintenance time) and give the expected return on investment.