Why Size Matters in the Cogeneration Field
Properly sizing your CHP installation is vital to long-term cost savings
When it comes to Combined Heat and Power, not all systems are created equal.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is an efficient, clean, and reliable technology, which simultaneously generates electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel source.
The range of “small-scale” cogen units encompasses everything from 20 kW to 1100 kW. The team at Aegis Energy, EDF Group knows that proper sizing and installation of a system impacts both efficiency and cost-savings.
“A properly sized cogeneration system will perform as intended,” said Daniel Murphy, Energy Analyst for Aegis Energy, EDF Group. “The site will consistently and efficiently use both the electricity and heat produced. “
Aegis Energy, 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.
“Although the primary reasons to size your CHP system properly are economic, there are often times space limitations in the mechanical rooms of these buildings,” said Dave Thompson, Director of Engineering for Aegis. “Our modular-type systems are easier to locate in certain areas of these buildings.”
Aegis utilizes a fairly exhaustive approach to sizing CHP from initial site visits to a 12 month review of electric and heating bills.
“We want to size the system based on the thermal needs of the building,” said Mary Ann Blinn, Sales Representative for Aegis.
In the world of Combined Heat and Power, energy efficiency is the ultimate metric, and bigger is not always better. While a 100 kW system operates under the same parameters as a 75 kW system, the results can be markedly different.
“An ill fit system will function below expectations,” said Murphy. “An over-sized system with larger than needed thermal capacity will steadily dump the heat produced through its radiator.”
That will impact efficiency and reduce energy savings.
“We always want to size our systems properly, otherwise we are just as efficient as a central power plant,” said Blinn. “Our proprietary analyses are modeled based on the building’s actual bills and mechanical systems’ efficiencies. We feel we have the most conservative and accurate savings analysis in the industry.”