When updating their current boiler systems, many commercial buildings are looking at a combined heat and power system . A’combined heat and power system uses a single fuel source to generate two kinds of energy. Commonly, this means a natural gas turbine creates hot water and electricity. The electrical generator produces heat, and this heat is then used to heat water. A combined heat and power system is more efficient than the traditional system of a standard boiler and electricity from the utility company.
However, not all buildings are ripe for the installation of a combined heat and power system. To get the most out of a combined heat and power system, your building must:
- Use an average of at least 75 kW of electricity each day.
- Have a year-round demand for hot water.
In addition, it helps if you have on electrical meter for the entire building. Therefore, an apartment building with an electrical meter for each tenant would not be a good choice for a combined heat and power system.
Although a combined heat and power system is more expensive than a standard boiler system, and may require more maintenance, the system generally ends up paying for itself within four years. A combined heat and power system may save an owner as much as $60,000 a year in energy costs. Some other questions related to the installation of combined heat and power systems are:
Is it noisy?
Actually, in comparison to a standard boiler, a combined heat and power system is practically noise-free! The noise of a combined heat and power system is generally ambient, meaning it won’t be easily detectable.
What is the environmental impact of a combined heat and power system?
Green living is all about recycling and making use of everything. A combined heat and power system does just that by using all the heat it produces, unlike the system which uses electrical utilities combined with a traditional boiler. In addition, a combined heat and power system:
- Reduces air pollution
- Increases energy efficiency
- Lowers greenhouse gas emissions
Can a combined heat and power system be used as a back-up generator?
Yes. When the electricity service goes out, certain CHP models can be used as a backup source of electricity. This makes a combined heat and power system especially beneficial to business such as hospitals, which require a steady rate of electricity at all times.
American Boiler Company can help you decide if a combined heat and power system is right for your building. You can contact our office at 973.923.1999 and we’ll help you determine if the combined heat and power system is a good fit, as well as provide you with a free detailed analysis of savings.