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picture of a CHP

Picture: Dachs 20 / SenerTec, Source: senertec.de/dachs-20-0

The cogeneration plant - a combined heat and power plant

A cogeneration plant (short: CHP) is a highly efficient combined heat and power plant. It represents a future-proof and efficient possibility of energy supply. By using this state-of-the-art and complex energy generation plant, energy costs can be sustainably reduced and energy efficiency can be permanently increased. How it works? We explain it to you.

CHP - producing electricity and heat at the same time

The special feature of a cogeneration plant is combined heat and power: it simultaneously generates electricity and hot water for heating. As a result, compared to conventional generation, the CHP works with a higher overall efficiency and correspondingly lower emission. This creates a double benefit with an optimal energy supply.

Depending on the model and the heat demand of your property, the size of the compact power plant ranges from the size of a one to four large refrigerators.

How the CHP works

Primarily, a combined heat and power plant generates heat for buildings. But it also produces electricity at the same time. How does this work? The principle is quite simple. The combined heat and power plant is powered by an engine similar to a truck engine. The combustion of natural gas generates heat and power at the same time. A generator converts the generated power into electricity. The waste heat from power generation is used as an energy source for heating.

The electricity generated can be consumed directly on site. With this form of electricity use, any fluctuations in the public power grid can be counteracted. That means a safe and stable power. If more electricity is generated than actually needed, it will be fed into the grid.

The efficiency of a combined heat and power plant is about 87%. From the 100% supplied energy in the form of natural gas, about 36% is converted into electricity and about 51% into heat. This means that only about 13% are lost through the transformation process of energy.

By comparison, in a coal-fired power plant, the conversion of coal energy leads to losses of 62% – and only about 36% of the energy ultimately can be used in the form of electricity in the socket.

The efficiency of a CHP is 87%. In comparison the combination of „electricity from the coal-fired power station“ and „heat from a conventional boiler“ only has an efficiency of 57%. With the energy supply from a CHP not only energy can be used more efficiently, but also the emission of CO2 can be reduced.

Advantages of a combined heat and power plant

  • Increasing energy efficiency
  • Increasing economic efficiency
  • Increasing the value of the property
  • High and stable security of supply
  • Simultaneous heat and power generation
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions
  • Energy cost reduction
  • Independence from electricity suppliers
  • State support in form of subsidies
  • Active contribution to climate protection

From economic and ecological view there are no obvious disadvantages.

Procedure of installing a CHP

Sense electra provides you with a combined heat and power plant, so that you do not have to worry about the investment, but benefit from the advantages. At the same time, we also take care of the modernization of your heating system if necessary.

The process from the planning to the use of a CHP is as follows:

Our engineers inspect the spatial and local conditions for the installation of a CHP in your building in a joint property inspection. This includes e.g. if your existing boiler room is sufficient for the installation of a combined heat and power plant or if an additional plant operating room is necessary. Furthermore, your exhaust system (chimney) and the feed option of the electricity in your house connection must be examined.

We calculate the economic conditions for the operation of a combined heat and power plant in your property in the form of a detailed cost statement. Then we will discuss all options step by step for the technical planning of your combined heat and power plant.

Decisive for the calculation are:
• The current costs of electricity and heating
• The costs of the coupled energy production of electricity and heat in the combined heat and power plant

Also included in the total calculation:
• Capital and operating costs
• Consumption costs as well
• Proceeds from state funding

During the inspection of your premises regarding the use of a CHP we simultaneously check your existing heating system. Subsequently, the measures for modernization are planned.

Depending on your heat demand, the suitable CHP model type will be installed and your heating system renewed according to the modernization measures.

The launch of the CHP is registered at the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control, the Federal Network Agency, the Main Customs Office and with the chimney sweep. Here the application for funding is submitted.

Fields of application for CHPs

A combined heat and power plant is particularly profitable for properties with a continuous heat or refrigeration demand. It pays off especially for industry and trade. For the amortization, it is important that the cogeneration plant is in operation all year round.

Typical areas of application of combined heat and power plants are:

  • Commercial and industrial companies with process-related heat demand
  • Swimming pools
  • Hospitals
  • Administrative buildings
  • Single-family and multi-family houses
Interested? Sense electra also provides you with electrical and thermal energy. We build, plan and finance your energy system. Learn more about our heat supply with CHP or ask for a non-binding offer: +4930 68 32 51 110
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