Combined Heat and Power
Combined heat and power (CHP) sources provide heat and electricity while reducing emissions.
On average, the power grid in the United States is only 30 percent efficient. This fact, combined with an increasing demand for more environmentally friendly energy sources, has inspired many construction professionals to turn to combined heat and power (CHP) sources for their projects.
CHP systems both provide heat and generate electricity with higher efficiency and lower emissions levels than conventional heating and grid-supplied power. CHP eliminates transmission and distribution losses associated with purchasing electricity via the central grid, and recovered waste heat is used to meet a facility's space-heating, water-heating, and cooling needs. As a result, CHP systems can operate at 70 percent to 80 percent (electric and thermal) efficiency.
The CHP Opportunity Calculator
Calculating the payback period for investments in CHP can be a complicated task, with variables such as fuel costs, incentives, and existing heating systems affecting energy savings and cash flow.
To simplify the process, we've assembled a CHP Opportunity Calculator that helps you identify the economic viability of CHP in your projects. Just enter the parameters and costs for your specific project, and the downloadable spreadsheet will determine your total project cost, annual energy and cost savings, and even CO2 emissions reductions.
Propane provides an excellent fuel source for CHP systems and has been available for large-scale industrial, commercial, and institutional applications for decades. With advances in technology, smaller micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) systems are being developed for residential developments and small businesses as well.
Financial incentives for CHP systems are available for construction professionals and their clients. To improve your return on investment even further, learn more about propane rebates and incentives.