The days are starting to get a little longer, the sky is a little brighter, and while summer is still a fair way off, we usually start to see our power bills gradually reducing at this time of year.
But sadly, price increases of over 50% are threatening to arrive soon and this may turn your mind to what the government and industry are doing about trying to reduce power costs. In particular, how to reduce our dependence on oil and other power sources that are costly, inefficient, and increasingly, run the risk of being in short supply when sanctions are placed on wayward oil-producing countries.
One source of energy that is becoming more and more popular is CHP biofuels now available from Beesley Fuels.
What is CHP Biofuel?
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) – or ‘cogeneration’ – is a highly efficient process where gas is combusted to generate both electricity and thermal energy at the same time.
The heat produced by this process gets captured by a heat recovery module and then it is reused to produce useful heat in the form of hot air, hot water or steam.
What fuels power a CHP / cogeneration system?
Natural gas is the most common fuel used, but alternatives include bioliquids, biofuels, and biogases.
Why is CHP a more energy-efficient choice?
With most conventional forms of producing electric power, waste heat is released into the atmosphere, and often as much as 44% of the power produced is lost. By producing electricity where it is consumed, rather than in a remote power station, there are no transmission losses. On-site power generation can therefore be up to 80% efficient.
CHP biofuels create power within a modified diesel engine, using a flue gas boiler, a flue gas control, and a smart control unit. The diesel engine was chosen for its high electrical efficiency (more than 40%). Because pyrolysis bio-oil is more difficult to ignite than diesel, some modifications needed to be made to the engine.
These power systems are suitable in size for small industries, hotels, hospitals, etc. For larger requirements, multiple units could be combined. Micro cogeneration units are available for domestic use, but at this stage, CHP is more suitable for larger buildings and blocks.
What are the benefits of CHP?
CHP delivers several financial, environmental, and operational benefits, including:
— Power savings of up to 25% for businesses
— It uses less fuel which benefits the environment
— A business can reduce its dependency on grid supply and reduce the burden on its original boiler plant. Because the CHP system can act as a baseload generator and heat supply, organisations have greater consistency of supply.
Who can benefit from CHP?
Many commercial and industrial businesses can benefit significantly from the installation of a CHP system, including commercial, manufacturing, and industrial sites, leisure centers, hotels, hospitals, education establishments, and many more.
If businesses are operating at lower costs, their improved efficiency will make their goods and services less expensive to provide to the consumer, or at least slow down future cost increases.
When should a business consider installing CHP?
Whenever an organizational need is identified for a more efficient, reliable, and/or clean system would be a good time, and if a new building or plant is being planned. CHP can also be considered when a refurbishment or retrofit is being considered.