PREMIUM CONTENT

A Macro Market for Micro-CHP?

July/August 2008
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
SHARE
Click here to read more articles about Multifamily
July 01, 2008
With rising fuel prices and an electric grid near maximal capacity, the economic benefits of good CHP applications in mulitfamily buildings can be substantial to both the investor and the local utility.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants simultaneously generate electricity and heat at the point of use and can achieve fuel conversion efficiencies of up to 90%. Compare this to a traditional remote central power plant, where electricity is generated at 35%–55% efficiency and then transmitted over long distances, while the remaining 45%–65% of waste heat is left behind because it’s not easily transported. The advantage for CHP plants is that they receive primary energy, often in the form of natural gas, with the waste heat “still inside.” While CHP systems typically have electrical efficiencies of only 22%–29%, the recoverable thermal energy of 50%–65% can bring the overall fuel conversion efficiency to 90%. With growing environmental awareness and an increasing desire to reduce carbon emissions, this efficiency difference is too large to ignore. And of course, with rising fuel prices and an electric grid near maximal capacity, the economic benefits of good CHP applications can be substantial to both the investor and the local utility. How Low Can You Go? During the energy crisis of the 1970s, large industrial plants, hospitals, and other large energy users were the primary target for CHP applications, due to the economies of scale ...

To read complete online articles, you need to sign up for an Online Subscription.

Once an order has been placed there is an automatic $10 processing fee that will be deducted with any cancellation.

The Home Energy Online articles are for personal use only and may not be printed for distribution. For permission to reprint, please send an e-mail to contact@homeenergy.org.

Email Newsletter

Home Energy E-Newsletter

Sign up for our free monthly
E-Newsletter!

Harness the power of
HOME PERFORMANCE!

Get the Home Energy
e-newsletter

FREE!

SUBSCRIBE

NOW!