Is it high time you refurbished or replaced your plant room or boiler house? Here are a few reasons why now is the perfect opportunity to install a money-saving CHP unit.
CHP is often considered when the time comes to refurbish boilers or replace existing systems. Here are some suggestions about integrating a CHP with your existing systems and selecting the appropriately sized CHP installation.
Starting the process
Ideally the impetus to investigate the installation of a CHP scheme would come from the periodic review of the energy strategy that your organisation conducts, but in many cases it will begin in response to a problem that becomes pressing. This problem may be related to difficulties caused by the level of energy/carbon costs, or the need to replace or refurbish an ageing boiler plant.
Whatever the impetus, this is an opportunity to make major changes in the nature and cost of your organisation's energy use.
Your first concrete step should be to thoroughly review your energy usage together with a view on likely changes in energy consumption in the short to medium-term.
Choosing the appropriate CHP scheme
Once you have an adequate understanding of your organisation's use of power, heat (and/or cooling), it is time to engage with both your energy consultant and the CHP equipment supplier to gain an understanding of the options that are open. DECC also has an online tool to help you with your initial calculations.
Although the electrical efficiency of a CHP system can increase with size, so can the cost. Therefore it it is important to ensure that the CHP is sized for optimum operation. As a general rule you should size your CHP system to the baseload of your heat and electrical demands. If the baseload requirement is less than 4500 operating hours per year it may be that CHP is not the most suitable application for your organisation.
It is also crucial to check the availability, price and supply reliability of the preferred technology's primary fuel at this stage of your decision-making process.
Maximising the benefits
CHPQA to earn maximum incentives
Before committing to your selected CHP scheme, verify that it will qualify for the CHPQA scheme so that all available incentives will be received.
Maintenance to ensure the long term benefits
A regular programme of maintenance is important; any shortfall in efficiency of your scheme will harm the financial savings.
Make sure that you have considered all the possible revenue streams for your CHP scheme. For example, there may be neighbouring organisations with heating and/or cooling requirements which could be supplied, and this might justify a larger and more efficient CHP scheme.