UK industries are showing a growing interest in the benefits of CHP - find out why
The noughties produced a steady annual growth in terms of CHP capacity in the UK, coupled with a constant number of units installed. The latest figures in DUKES 2014, show that, for the period 2009 to 2013, there has been a 50% growth in both generated capacity and the total number of schemes for small-scale CHP (less than 1 MWe).
One of the key drivers behind this has been the government’s policy to help industries, businesses and the public sector reduce their energy consumption and meet the target of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, by using energy more efficiently and adopting low-carbon technologies such as CHP across the UK.
What can CHP do?
CHP is the reliable on-site generation of electrical and heat energy in a single process, which is almost twice as efficient as conventional energy generation and provides a greater security of supply.
Selecting the right size CHP for a site ensures classification as ‘good quality’ CHP, compliance with incentives to reduce emissions and the funding benefits available.
How can UK industries benefit from CHP?
Using CHP will help organisations:
- Save on energy costs.
- Acquire reliable and secure energy supplies.
- Reduce emissions and their carbon footprint.
- Promote investment in new jobs and businesses.
Which industries are already benefiting?
CHP provides all sites with energy efficient cogeneration - supplying electricity and heating/hot water. On trigeneration schemes, chilled water/cooling is additionally produced.
Energy-intensive production processes operate 24/7, with large energy demands. CHP meets the demands of the manufacturing industry in the following ways:
- On-site generation provides security of supply during power outages.
- System downtime is reduced.
- Older steam systems can be ‘de-steamed’ or replaced.
- Maintenance backlog is reduced.
- CO2 is captured from exhaust gases and can be process cleaned for use in bottling plants.
Production plants operate 24/7, needing reliable energy. CHP offers security of supply with on-site generation, and steam can be provided by utilising the heat energy from the CHP exhaust gases.
Leisure centres and hotels with large energy demands are especially suited to CHP, due to a continuous demand for heating and hot water. It is especially beneficial to sites with swimming pools.
CHP will provide heat energy for space heating and cooling for supermarkets and distribution centres. The electrical output can be used for lighting and for refrigeration plant.
CHP can provide public sector buildings with:
- Reliable energy 24/7.
- Existing steam systems can be replaced or upgraded.
- New systems will reduce maintenance backlog.
- Increased system efficiencies, if installed with other demand side energy saving measures.
Local community heating schemes, residential centres and large offices run efficiently on CHP, where electrical and heat output is distributed to sites within a local vicinity.
In order to specify CHP to have maximum efficiency, there are essential factors that you need to consider:
- Optimised CHP sizing requires accurate assessment of energy data.
- Successful CHP integration depends on good site installation design.
- Compliance with emissions legislation influences project funding and CHP feasibility.
Find out more about expanding your skillset to include CHP specification. Get your free eGuide now: The consultant's ultimate guide to Combined Heat and Power
Topics: CHP / Cogeneration