What does a CHP system contain?
Typically a GF Genovate small scale (100kWe to 2MWe) CHP unit will be supplied packaged and ready for installation. This does not mean to say that it is an off the shelf product – each unit is tailored to meet your very specific site requirements.
The package will contain:-
– The internal combustion engine which produces the heat and drives the generator
– The generator to produce the electricity
– The heat recovery equipment to provide heat in the right format for your site
– And pipework, valves and controls
This is package is typically a steel box acoustically treated to reduce noise and provide a robust structure to support the components. Space is always tight so the package is optimised to be as small as possible whilst still allowing ready access for maintenance
New build or retro-fit?
These scenarios have different considerations.
In many ways new build is easier as the requirements for integrating the CHP unit can be designed in from the outset.
Retro-fitting can be more complex but can also yield bigger benefits in terms of improving the building’s energy efficiency. Space is often a challenge in existing buildings but packaged CHP unit can be located externally to allow for simplified connection to the building.
Where will my fuel come from?
More than 95% of CHP units are fuelled by Natural Gas supplied from the nationwide gas grid however CHP units can be powered by alternative fuels such as LPG and biogas
Do I have to disconnect from the grid to use my CHP unit?
CHP units are very similar to the typical standby generators with one key exception – they operate together with the site’s electrically supply. No switching or change-over is necessary. They are also designed to operate at full output all day every day unlike a lot of standby generators. There can sometimes be additional income to be derived from CHP units by supplying extra or surplus power to the network at particular times of day.