CHP FAQs

Q; How do I assess whether CHP is right for my specific application ?

A; We require data on your hourly power and heat consumption throughout the year, together with the prices you pay for electricity and gas, to allow us to assess the economic viability of the unit for your application.

Q; There are a lot of CHP units available in the market, with a wide range of prices.  How do I decide which is best for me ?

A; Firstly, when assessing prices of CHP units, you have to ensure that you are comparing them on a like for like basis.  Many of our competitors will initally quote a basic price which in reality does not include all of the components necessary for the project.  Our prices are transparent and clearly list all of the elements are that included, which should be everything that is required.  Secondly, not all CHP is born equally!  The UK CHP market is dominated by poor quality products which don't come with a fully comprehensive maintenance package and are too expensive to run.  We offer an extremely diverse range of CHP packages with a wide variation in prices.  However, everything we sell comes with the comfort of a full warranty and O&M contract.  Whatever your requirements and procurement criteria, we'll have a solution that is right for you.

Q; The CHP unit is covered by a 12 month warranty. Can I leave sorting out the Maintenance Contract until the unit is commissioned and running?

A; Absolutely not!!  Once you have a unit installed, if the Maintenance Contract is not agreed from the outset, you are at the mercy of the supplier when it come to negotiating terms (and some of our competitors will show no mercy!).  It is essential that a maintenance quotation is included as part of the detailed offer and that it is signed up at same time as the equipment supply. It's important to note, that a typical reciprocating CHP operating as it should, will require at least three planned maintenance visits within it's 12 month warranty period. It's typical that these maintenance visits will not have been allowed for in the initial supply and installation price.

Q; Where can the CHP be sited ?

A; CHP sets can be provided in weatherproof enclosures and hence can be sited in many locations other than plant rooms.  Where CHP is installed inside a building, there must be access, either through the roof or adjacent walls, to the atmosphere, for the unit air intake and exhaust.

Q. I have problems with variability of return water temperatures. Will this cause problems for the operation of the CHP?

A; For CHP units with traditional reciprocating gas engines, including our Powerlink range, return water temperature is limited to a maximum of 80 deg.C.  However, with the Capstone & Turbec products, because microturbines do not use the building water system for cooling of the engine, elevated return water temperatures do not adversly affect the unit, and hence it is far more flexible.

Q; What are the exhaust emissions from the CHP units?

A; For our Powerlink range of units, emissions comply with the European Emissions standard TA Luft. Emissions from the micorturbines are less than 15 parts per million for both NOx & CO which are an order of magnitude lower than for a reciprocating CHP unit, mainly due to the high air/fuel ratio in this type of engine .

Q; How much noise does a CHP unit make?

A; The noise level from the standard CHP packages is between 65 & 70db(A) at 1 metre. However, where noise is a major consideration, units with enhanced acoustic enclosures can be supplied.

Q; Can the CHP run at part-load and, if so, how will it affect electrical efficiency? 

A; Yes, it can be modulated down to 50 % of rated output and lose only a few percentage points of electrical efficiency. 

Q; Can the CHP unit be monitored and started / stopped remotely?

A; The units come with a full telemetry package and can be monitored and controlled remotely from a P.C. or laptop.  They are also configured to be simply integrated to site PLC/MODBUS control systems. Communications through to the remote control system can be achieved with traditional modem/landline set-ups, VPN's, or more recently GPRS & Cellular 3/4G modems.

Q; What gas pressure does the CHP unit require?

A; The CHP unit requires gas at standard mains pressure (21mBar).  Reciprocating CHP will operate directly with 21mb mains pressure, microturbine CHPs utilise a designated gas booster.

Q; Can the CHP units be operated on biogas?

A: Yes, there are biogas versions of all of the CHP products that we sell, including both the micro gas turbines and the reciprocating CHP units

Q; What is the typical installed cost of CHP?

A: As said, the larger the installation, the lower the £/KWe cost, however based on a typical plant room installation of a 150 KWe CHP, a turnkey package can be supplied and installed anywhere betwen £120k, and £140K.