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If you own a commercial building, an apartment building, or a house, you might want to consider a micro combined heat and power (CHP) system. A micro-CHP system is a small heat engine, or power plant, that provides all the power for an individual building: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, mechanical energy, and electric power. The purpose of the micro-CHP is to use more of the fuel’s energy and is an example of decentralized energy.

It’s impossible for a heat engine to be 100% efficient since it can’t convert all the heat from its fuel into useful energy like electricity. What you get as a result is a surplus of low-temperature wasted heat. Unlike large-scale CHPs typically used for a multitude of individual buildings (e.g. university and college campuses), a micro-CHP system is implemented where the waste heat can be used while still generating electricity for an individual building.

How do micro-CHP systems work?

Micro-CHP simultaneously produces useful heat and electricity from a single source and can be used for individual commercial buildings, hotels, apartments, and houses. Micro-CHP systems in homes or small commercial buildings are controlled by heat-demand and then deliver electricity as the by-product. In these circumstances, micro-CHP systems will often generate more electricity than is needed instantly — free electricity essentially!

Why should you use micro-CHP?

Well, apart from free electricityIt’s simple and reducing your electrical costs, it’s a low carbon alternative! You can use the electricity for any household device such as lights and appliances. At the same time, you can use the heat produced for water and heating. Using a combined heat and power system gives efficiency of around 90%, versus 30%-40% in a power station. With the micro-CHP system you can use wasted heat as an energy source.

Can micro-CHP be used for cooling?

As previously mentioned, micro-CHP systems use wasted heat as a new source of energy to be drawn from. Who would’ve thought that heat can be used for cooling but it can! Trigeneration refers to the production of cooling, heat, and power all from in a single process (combined cooling, heat, and power or CCHP). The cooling actually comes from the heat generated that is not required for heating purposes directly. Instead, an absorption chiller uses the excess heat to produce chilled water.

CHP systems have benefited the industrial sector for a long time now. With more recent technological developments in small heat engines, we’ve observed the emergence and has facilitated the emergence and adoption of micro-CHP systems that are more cost effective. Due to rising energy costs and climate change, these systems are an excellent choice for new and already existing buildings.

Contact Alliance Engineering to find out more about micro-CHP systems and how they can save you money by making your building more energy efficient!