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Combined Heat and Power Systems Explained

Combined heat and power (CHP) is an incredibly efficient energy production method that captures and uses heat as a by-product of electricity generation.

By generating both heat and power at the same time, CHP can significantly increase efficiency by up to 80% when compared to generating each different energy source separately.

How Does CHP Work?

The heat generated during the process mentioned above is then supplied to a heat demand, which would otherwise have relied on a standard boiler. CHP are far better for the environment – capable of decreasing carbon emissions by up to 30% – and far more efficient than traditional heating systems because they are able to make use of the electrical and mechanical power, which would have otherwise been wasted. This means that heating needs can be met without additional fuel resources.

For many, a CHP is an excellent way of reducing energy costs and improving environmental performance, without the need for several different solutions.

As we’ve already touched upon, CHP harnesses the production of recyclable heat and power, in a single, highly effective process.

In large-scale coal and gas power stations, it’s thought that up to two-thirds of overall energy production is wasted because of this. You’ve probably seen clouds of steam rising from cooling towers, and this is the heat energy dissipating into the atmosphere.

How Could This Benefit You?

As an energy production process, CHP is fuel neutral, which means that CHP processes can be applied to either renewable or fossil fuel. Of course, the technologies and the overall efficiency will undoubtedly vary, but CHP is indeed capable of making very efficient use of valuable energy resources either way.

CHP systems are able to offer local electricity, heat and even cooling options. Because a system produces its own energy on your property, CHP means you avoid the efficiency loss created by transmission and distribution through the National Grid and other local distribution methods.

In fact, it’s thought about 7% of available energy is typically lost during the transportation process from generation to end-user.

The Powerguard CHP System

Our CHP system is able to capture and utilise thermal energy by way of an innovative heat exchanger unit. The key benefit here is that this recaptured heat has, in effect, already been paid for since it’s a side effect of the electricity generation process. Therefore, you’re effectively benefitting from free thermal energy.

Diesel CHP systems are exceptionally efficient due to the way they hold and utilise this by-product thermal energy. There are two main areas where the heat energy is collected; firstly from the exhaust gases emitting from the exhaust manifold; and secondly, the water cooling jacket. By controlling the temperature of this stored heat, it means that various water temperatures can be produced on-demand within the property.

Renewable energy sources, such as off-grid wind turbines and solar panels, are easy to integrate into our CHP systems. This increases system efficiency since it means that the system’s battery pack can be charged without needing to run the generator, which increases fuel efficiency.

For more information on Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and PS Systems, visit our information pages.

If you’d like to learn more about what we’ve covered in this piece, or you’re interested in our off-grid power systems or any of our other products or services, then why not contact us today for more information?

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