Friday, 7 December 2007

Micro-CHP can deliver significant carbon savings

Findings from the most in-depth field trial to date on Micro-CHP (combined heat and power) were released today by the Carbon Trust, showing that Micro-CHP technology has significant potential to deliver CO2 savings in small commercial environments and certain types of homes.

For small businesses, the trial has demonstrated that Micro-CHP systems can cut overall site CO2 emissions by 15 to 20 per cent when installed as the lead boiler in appropriate applications, such as care homes, community housing schemes and leisure centres. These types of Micro-CHP installations can also reduce energy bills by thousands of pounds each year due to the reduced demand for grid electricity.

For domestic users, the results show that the current generation of Micro-CHP systems is best suited to larger homes with three or more bedrooms, or older houses where it is not currently cost effective to improve insulation, such as housing with solid brick walls. In such homes, Micro-CHP can potentially deliver carbon savings of between five and ten per cent – with typical reductions between 200kg and 800kg of CO2 each year. However, the currently available systems appear to offer limited benefits for smaller and newer houses.

Deploying devices in the most appropriate applications is the key to maximising benefits. The common success factor for both domestic and commercial applications is matching the thermal output of Micro-CHP devices to the buildings where they are used, to ensure that they operate for many hours at a time, rather than intermittently. The carbon saving potential of Micro-CHP has therefore been found to be best in buildings which require long and consistent heating periods.

full article

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