Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a proven solution for greener, more cost effective manufacturing, which generates electrical and thermal energy from a single efficient process. Clare Burns, Marketing Manager, ENER-G Combined Power, explains.
Valuable heat energy is harnessed, rather than wasted into the atmosphere, by connecting the CHP’s heat recovery system directly to the site hot water or steam system. In addition, by connecting to an absorption chiller, heat can be used to produce chilled water for air-conditioning and process cooling.
CHP can deliver energy savings of 25–35% compared with the traditional energy systems it replaces. This can equate to a cost saving of 20–30% and a reduction in CO2 greenhouse gas emissions of 30%.
Sites using steam systems for space heating and hot water are often faced with high maintenance costs and a significant maintenance backlog. Many steam systems were designed to serve production processes and thermal demands that have now changed. De-steaming can be an extremely effective means of delivering energy cost reduction.
Some of the benefits of de-steaming and replacing with a CHP scheme include:
- Reduce or eliminate water treatment and boiler blowdown costs
- Removing steam pipe work that may have asbestos insulation – leads to safety and environmental improvements
- Replacing steam systems with high, medium, and low temperature hot water systems that have quicker response times to changes in capacity and temperature
- Increased system reliability
- Reduced energy bills
- Reduced carbon footprint
For projects where steam energy is still required, existing systems can be replaced or reinforced by installing CHP. Heat from the CHP’s high-temperature exhaust gases will be used to generate steam energy.
By replacing time expired plant with new efficient systems, maintenance backlog and costs can be reduced immediately. Maintenance teams and budgets can be diverted to core business activities, helping reduce any process maintenance backlog.
Most CHP units use natural gas, which yields lower emissions than from coal-fired and oil-fired equipment and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2 . This will help manufacturers meet their industry’s overall strategy to improve environmental impact, comply with statutory carbon reduction targets, and reduce carbon payments through tax schemes (CRC, EU ETS).
Some production facilities, such as soft drinks bottling plants, use CO2 in their processes. CO2 can be recovered from the CHP exhaust gas and process cleaned to meet food quality standards, providing further reductions in emissions and process costs.
The UK government has introduced a number of incentive schemes for good quality low carbon energy technologies, which includes CHP. These incentives include:
- Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs). Eligible schemes can have 100% of the costs written off in the relevant tax year
- Exemption from the Climate Change Levy (CCL)
- Business Rating Exemption
Funding options available include capital purchase and Discount Energy Purchase schemes (where the CHP provider will finance and the customer buys the generated energy at a discounted rate).
ENER-G’s ‘Essential Guide to Small Scale Combined Heat and Power’ is available free to download from their website.