Find out why Combined Heat and Power might be the option for you.
CHP also known as "Co-generation", is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat usually in the form of hot water or steam from a primary fuel such as natural gas. Electricity is generated on site by using natural gas to drive an alternator connected to a turbine or engine. The heat from the exhaust gases generated by the turbine or engine is harvested to provide steam or hot water for the production processes.
Due to potential inefficiencies in electricity generation and the resulting cost of electricity from energy suppliers, significant savings can be made by generating electricity on site to meet the electrical demand. The financial benefits of onsite electricity generation (using natural gas to power the electricity generator) are evident by comparing daytime electricity prices in Ireland of circa 10.67 cent/kWh with market natural gas prices of circa 3.25 cent/kWh (SEAI figures, July 2016 incl. Vat and relevant taxes.) In addition, the efficiencies of the CHP system result in reduced energy usage and lower CO2 emissions.
Suitable for a wide range of applications, CHP is particularly appropriate as an energy solution where there is a high demand for both electricity and steam, heat or hot water. Already embedded across many sectors in Europe, including food, distilling, agriculture and chemicals, CHP is also utilised in the supply chain of many more industries including packaging, food processing and the automotive sector. Here in Ireland, the levels of CHP installed capacity are low with just 7.4% of Ireland's electricity and 6.4% of the country's heat demand coming from CHP installations in 2014.