Using a variety of technologies and fuels, combined heat and power (CHP) are systems that efficiently generate thermal and electrical energy. Losses are reduced thanks to on-site power generation, and heat that would otherwise be lost is used to power facility loads in the form of steam, hot water, or even chilled water for process heating. CHPs can produce district energy, work as microgrids, or create heat and power for industrial use. They can also supply power and thermal energy to numerous end users. In the event of grid failures, CHP can deliver dependable power around the clock and can be used with other distributed energy technologies like solar photovoltaics and energy storage.
Nearly two-thirds of the energy used for typical separate power and heat generating is lost as heat during production, transmission, and distribution. CHP can reach efficiencies of over 90%, compared to about 52% for traditional systems, by capturing and utilizing heat that would otherwise be wasted and by eliminating distribution losses (e.g., conventional electricity generation and an on-site boiler). CHP systems can produce fewer carbon emissions than separate heat and grid power because of their higher efficiency.
The main advantage of a combined heat and power system is that both heat and electrical energy can be generated locally. CHP facilities offer a variety of users local heat, electricity, and occasionally even cooling. CHP also benefits from eliminating efficiency losses associated with electricity transmission and distribution through the grid and local distribution networks because the energy is locally produced. When using the network to move energy from the source of generation to the user, approximately 7% of the energy would typically be lost.
The harnessing of CO2 from scrubbing the exhaust of a combined heat and power system is an important consideration in cases where an organization has a need for CO2 in its processes (greenhouse growers, the food processing business, and the brewing industry). Look at our case study at the Maryša greenhouse to see how CO2 is captured and used to increase yields in a real-world example.
It’s worth mentioning that depending on the purity of CO2 required, cleaning the contaminants from the exhaust can require sophisticated processing.
Maximize the value of a CHP by running it in a flexible way
Combined heat and power is an efficient and reliable way to generate both heat and electricity. However, at times when heat isn’t required, they don’t run at optimum efficiency. Fortunately, CHPs can provide ancillary services by controlling the output according to the needs of the grid. Nano energies can connect your CHP to the grid operator and start earning you additional revenue with no upfront costs.