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What is CHP?

Combined Heat & Power (CHP) is the simultaneous generation of heat and electricity from the same piece of equipment. In much the same way as heat is captured from the engine of a car when the fan heater is turned on, heat that is usually lost in the power generation process is captured and used to make hot water for example.

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By capturing this energy that is usually wasted, CHP results in much higher running efficiencies (in some cases greater than 90%), generating signficant carbon and energy savings for the user of the technology.  There are a number of different types of CHP available ranging from small reciprocating engine based systems, such as the Dachs, to large gas turbine and steam turbine derivatives.

Selection of the appropriate type of technology depends upon the application for which CHP is being considered. When making the selection, CHP should always be sized for the base thermal load of the application i.e. the thermal load that is present all year round. A site that has sized its CHP for the base thermal load will benefit from the maximum running hours from the unit, and maximise the savings it will generate. A well sized CHP sytem should achieve annual running hours of at least 5,000 hours. 

Further Reading

Please visit the CHP section of the Sustainable Energy Ireland website: www.sei.ie