University of Massachusetts researcher spreads the word about CHP
School is in session and students in the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst are learning about Combined Heat and Power.
Under the direction of Assistant Research Professor Dragoljub (Beka) Kosanovic, graduate students are learning to do energy efficiency assessments to help companies reduce their energy and waste costs while at the same time helping to promote a cleaner environment.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is often at the core of that process.
“We go to facilities here in the Northeast and they prepare reports,” said Kosanovic. “They learn to understand the process and see how it is done. We see a lot of facilities that carry a heavy thermal load and purchase electricity from the grid to satisfy their thermal needs. In those instances, CHP makes sense.”
CHP systems, like Dalkia Aegis, EDF Group’ 75 kW systems, provide energy savings for a variety of facilities, from healthcare and assisted living facilities, to recreational and multi-residential complexes, and hotels. There are also institutional, educational, and industrial facility applications.
Each system can be customized based on physical space and energy demand.
“As the technology has progressed the systems have gotten much better,” said Kosanovic. “If you do the maintenance they can be very reliable. Reduced energy costs, reduced emissions, and increased reliability. It is a natural progression.”
For Kosanovic, who also assists companies through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Northeast CHP Technical Assistance Partnership, sizing a CHP system is the most important part of the process.
“You want to design your system in such a way that you are always able to utilize all of the heat that is coming from your power generation,” he said. “The thermal needs to be satisfied as much as possible. The electricity comes as a by-product. Some vendors will try to sell you as large a system as they can but you may end up with a system that is larger than you need and you can’t utilize as much of the thermal as you otherwise would.”
Dalkia Aegis utilizes a fairly exhaustive approach to sizing CHP from initial site visits to a 12 month review of electric and heating bills. Its proprietary analyses are modeled on the building’s actual bills and mechanical systems’ efficiencies.
Kosanovic received his B.S. from the University of Belgrade and his Ph.D. from UMass. His field of research is energy conversion with a particular emphasis on industrial thermal processes and thermal power generation.
As a proponent of CHP, Kosanovic and his students find it especially gratifying when they see companies that act on their assessments and reap the energy and cost savings from the technology.
“It is a great technology,” he said. “If sized properly and maintained properly it can help a lot of companies.”
For more information on Combined Heat and Power options and for a free energy audit that can determine the viability of CHP in your building, contact Dalkia Aegis, EDF Group through aegischp.com.