Saturday, November 07, 2015

CHP and 3 Important Considerations When Designing Combined Heat and Power Systems

An Introduction to CHP

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Combined heat and power (CHP) systems, are also known as cogeneration systems, and they greatly improve the usable energy output from electricity generation systems. When a gas engine or turbine is used to generate electricity without CHP, after the electricity leaving the site, there is also hot "cooling water" that is used to keep the jacket around the engine and generator windings cool.

Usually, this heat energy is not used, and goes to a cooling plant, which is usually primarily a radiator and a fan based cooler which vents the heat to the atmosphere. In CHP (combined heat and power) systems, that heat is used in some way, and the most common method is to send the hot water through an insulated pipeline to a space heating radiator in a remote office, or factory, or the hot water delivered may be used to warm more water for industrial hot water uses. The result is that CHP provides a lot more useful thermal energy in an integrated system.

This means that CHP is not a technology, but a concept, there are many ways to apply different technologies to CHP. Heat is used when it would otherwise be wasted during the normal methods of separate generation of heat and power. It is hard to appreciate just how big the benefits of anaerobic digestion heat CHP can be. Experts say that the conventional methods of producing usable heat and power separately usually achieves no better than a combined efficiency of use of the original energy output of 45%, amazingly CHP systems operate at levels as close to 80%. Just stop to think for a moment now, just how wasteful the normal method is.

3 Important Considerations When Designing Combined Heat and Power Systems

  1. Payoffs for adding CHP to an existing biogas generation plant installation can be fast, and as quick as 12 to 18 months, but not always. It is essential to do some detailed analysis of the true value of the heat you will gain from installing heat exchangers to output this useful hot water. The heat (hot water) from any CHP system is only going to be as hot as it now enters the cooling system. Check that this will be hot enough for the purpose the hot water, or heat will be used. For space heating it is usually fine, but just remember that it will not be hotter than the cooling jacket temperature.
  2. Next check the synergy of time. The hot water produced will need to be output at the times when it is needed. For example, if the heat is to be used for crop drying, does the crop drying requirement coincide seasonally with the usage of the generation equipment? That output may be used, in some cases, only at times when the electricity company pays the best rate each day for the power. Conflicts of this sort are likely to occur, and this is not a problem as long as the calculation of the value of the CHP power is done in a way that makes due allowance for them. Although there may be on-farm uses they may prove to give a lower payback than for instance installing a longer insulated pipeline to a nearby factory which has a 24/7 demand for hot process water.
  3. Make sure that you also make a realistic evaluation of the current costs of the power that the CHP energy source would replace. At the current time of writing, electricity tariffs and diesel costs per litre have been dropping due to the low cost of oil. Take a view on the extent to which that drop may continue and build-in a margin for a further potential drop, making sure that the investment decision takes a cautious approach.

You may also find the following article useful:

The Biogas Engine – Defined And How They Provide Biogas Generation of Electricity

There are a number of advanced and proven gas engines utilized for biogas generation by the biogas generator manufacturers. They are maximized for biogas use, in a way that ensures that their combustion chambers provide the highest degree of performance possible.

Lubricating oil is dispersed throughout the engine’s moving components to keep the tool running smoothly as well as to lower wear. Proper treatment and also upkeep of the generator engine will certainly guarantee many years of problem complimentary usage.

Nevertheless, failure to deal with normal upkeep is a sure means to attractive trouble. This is definitely real when it comes to the engine’s lubricating oil.

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via The Biogas Engine – Defined And How They Provide Biogas Generation of Electricity

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