Build Operate Transfer · CHP · Cogeneration · Conservation · Efficiency · electric grid · Energy Savings Plan · Net Metering · renewable energy · Resilience

Micro-CHP

Solar Cogeneration and Net Metering Systems

A cogeneration plant often referred to as a combined heat and power plant is tasked with producing electricity and thermal energy in the form of heat or steam, or useful mechanical work, such as shaft power, from the same fuel source.

Micro-CHP engine systems are currently based on several different technologies: Internal combustion engines, Stirling engines, Fuel cell, Microturbines, Steam engine/Steam motor using either water or organic chemicals such as refrigerants.

Micro combined heat and power or mCHP applies to single or multi-family homes or small office buildings in the range of up to 50 kW. Local generation has the potential for a higher efficiency than traditional grid-level generators since it lacks the 8-10% energy losses from transporting electricity over long distances as well as 10–15% energy losses from heat transfer in district heating networks due to the difference between the thermal energy carrier – hot water – and the colder external environment.

Most Systems use natural gas as the primary energy source and emit carbon dioxide. A micro-CHP system usually contains a small fuel cell or a heat engine as a prime mover used to rotate a generator which provides electric power, while simultaneously utilizing the waste heat from the prime mover for a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. A micro-CHP generator delivers electricity as the by-product or may generate electricity with heat as the by-product. 

Micro-CHP systems have been facilitated by recent technological developments of small heat engines

Type 2008 2012 2015 2020
Electrical efficiency at rated power 34% 40% 42.5% 45%
CHP energy efficiency 80% 85% 87.5% 90%
Factory cost $750/kW $650/kW $550/kW $450/kW
Transient response (10%–90% rated power) 5 min 4 min 3 min 2 min
Start-up time from 20 °C ambient temperature 60 min 45 min 30 min 20 min
Degradation with cycling < 2%/1000 h 0.7%/1000 h 0.5%/1000 h 0.3%/1000 h
Operating lifetime 6,000 h 30,000 h 40,000 h 60,000 h
System availability 97% 97.5% 98% 99%

CPVT Concentrated photovoltaics and thermal also called CHAPS combined heat and power solar, is a cogeneration technology used in concentrated photovoltaics that produce electricity and heat in the same module. The heat may be employed in district and water heating, air conditioning, process heat or desalination.

Net metering micro-CHP systems achieve much of their savings by the value of electrical energy which is replaced by auto produced electricity. A generate-and-resell model supports this as home-generated power exceeding the in-home needs is sold back to the electrical utility. This system is efficient because the energy used is distributed and used instantaneously over the electric grid.

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CHP · destination management · electric grid · renewable energy

Ethical and Technical Solutions for Climate Change

Our problems are man-made–therefore, they can be solved by man

President John F Kennedy

The Middle Atlantic Region of the United States is among the most affluent in the world, with a high percentage of highly educated, informed and environment conscious citizenry. This is also a trend setting region because it is:

the seat of government where the rules and regulations are crafted, and

a highly diverse community with people from all over the world that live, work, study and visit here; hence the perfect conduit to transfer ideas and know-how to other communities.

Silver Lake DEEthical not Technical as the documentary Surviving Progress points out, solutions to climate change and mankind’s condition on planet earth can be found less in technological advancement and more in ethical and political considerations; people tend to do and want what others do and want.

There are of course technical and practical issues, but they can only be effective if:

  1. preceded by an educational effort to inform the public on the benefit of a specific course of action, as well as the consequences of inaction, which forces
  2. political office holders to make decisions, provide leadership, and
  3. direct rule making bodies to establish new and appropriate regulations and sanctions

The Solution lies in consuming less without impacting quality and standard of life. This is achieved by first tackling ethical and political considerations, including but are not limited to:

  • recalculating government and family budgets; economics is not a science therefore it is not subject to unchanging facts of life like the laws of gravity
  • budgets must take into-account what we take from nature through a revenue neutral carbon tax with consumption levies and income tax rebates

Dover DelawareAt this point, technological as well as politically and economically feasible solutions can be adopted.

If your community is dependent on service industries, such as tourism, it can adapt a series of measures that address water resources and quality as well as energy savings. Management innovations such Energy Services Performance Contracts – ESPCs – and Technical solutions, such as Combined Heat and Power – CHP – are proven, state of the art systems that:

reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent

consume essentially zero water resources in generating electricity

are low-cost to electricity generation

reduce the risk of electric grid disruptions, and

increase predictability with electricity prices

Most of all, going back to the politics of the climate change issue, they utilize:

  1. fossil and/or renewable energy, lessening the stalemate between these two options
  2. highly-skilled local labor and technology, hence creating new wealth in a community
  3. are adaptable and scalable to local conditions, and
  4. meet the stated goal of consuming less without impacting quality and standard of life.

NASA-2015 Record Warm Global Year Since1880ESPCs and CHP are utilized in a variety of applications:

industrial providing electricity and steam to energy-intensive industries such as chemicals, paper, refining, food processing, and metals manufacturing

commercial and institutional providing electricity, steam, and hot water to hospitals, schools, university campuses, farms, hotels, nursing homes, office buildings apartment complexes and other residential housing.

In developed and developing communities there is a disconnect on most issues between the elites – the wealthy, opinion and decision makers – and the rest, especially regarding economic development, trade and the environment.

The connection between haves and have nots will occur when wealth creation, employment and entrepreneurship are linked to the climate change issue; till then, climate related issues will remain an issue of interest to a very select minority of earth’s population. The link is more likely to occur when technologically, economically and politically evolved regions like the Middle Atlantic States set the example and show the way to combat climate change; other communities will then follow in their footsteps to the benefit of all.

Ethical and Technical Solutions for Climate Change

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America · Build Operate Transfer · Business · CHP · Cogeneration · Conservation · Efficiency · electric grid · Energy Savings Plan · Historic District · Historic Towns · Logistics · Net Metering · renewable energy · Resilience

Saving Energy on Main Street

Energy Service Companies Savings Performance Contracts ESA Payments and ESCO Guarantees

Energy Services Agreements – ESAs – are pay-for-performance, off-balance sheet financing solutions that allows customers to implement energy efficiency projects with zero upfront capital expenditure. As in the case of power purchase agreements – PPAs – equipment is installed, owned and operated by the vendor who sells the saved power to the customer.

Red Wing MNESAs are the Energy Efficiency Equivalent of a Power Purchase Agreement

Energy Service Companies – ESCos – provide designs and implementation solutions for energy savings projects, retrofitting, energy conservation, outsourcing, power generation and supply.

Energy Savings Performance Contracts – ESPCs – accelerate investment in cost effective energy conservation measures without up-front capital costs. ESPCs are partnerships between a property owner/operator and an ESCo which conducts a comprehensive energy audit to identify improvements to save energy, designs and constructs the project as well as arranges the necessary financing.

An ESCO Guarantees the Improvements that Generate Energy Cost Savings

Energy Savings result from lighting upgrades, building automation system and controls. A Flexible Contractual Tool for retailers looking to stabilize utility costs as well as achieve longer term benefits by buying out the contract and take ownership of installed equipment.

main streetEnergy Management for Small and Medium-sized Commercial Buildings

ESA Payments are operating expenses designed to be off-balance sheet financing solutions with regular payments similar-to a utility bill.

Outputs Quality and Achievements of Specific Measurable Performance Standards 

aberdeen buildingBenefits resulting from the application of ESAs include energy efficiency, water conservation, emissions reduction and streamlined contract funding for energy management projects, through access to private-sector expertise, built-in incentives to provide high-quality equipment, and project commissioning infrastructure improvements. Project management ensures building efficiency and new equipment without upfront capital costs as well as energy and related operation and maintenance cost saving guarantees.

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Business · CHP · Conservation · Efficiency · electric grid · Historic Towns · renewable energy · Sustainable Communities

Energy Management in Small Buildings

Innovative Energy Savings Solutions

main streetSmall and Medium-sized Commercial Buildings account for 95 percent of building stock and consume half the energy in a sector of the economy responsible for 20 percent of the total energy consumption.
Owners of smaller buildings are often unaware of the amount of energy wasted and the opportunity for savings that building automation systems provide. This sector hasn’t BAS for the following reasons:

    • the high cost of tailoring software and acquiring hardware components is beyond the reach of most small- and medium-sized properties;
    • the owner is not always the tenant that pays the utility bill, hence limited incentive to invest in the building’s energy efficiency.

Cost and Operations wide scale adoption of BAS requires scale and ease of deployment that are achievable with plug-and-play open architectures capable of local or remote monitoring.

Most BAS currently Use Proprietary Architectures

PPL graphControls Designers purchase all devices and controllers from single vendors instead of being able to choose optimal products, controls and services from different vendors to achieve widespread turnkey solutions that reduce installation and maintenance costs with seamless integration of HVAC, lighting, and plug load equipment as well as controllers from different manufacturers that offer plug-and-play functionality for the many system configurations found in smaller commercial architectures.

voltec imageBenefits include streamlined building operations, optimized energy usage, greater interconnection between building systems and a centralized control structure that facilitates demand response, savings and better integration with the electric power grid, energy savings of 10 percent for HVAC systems and 15 percent for lighting, increased participation in demand response programs, a cost-effective, open-source, plug-and-play building automation platform that is secure, scalable, and broadly interoperable, and support for the most prevalent communication technologies and protocols, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Smart Energy Profile.

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for Innovative Energy Savings Solutions in Small Commercial Buildings

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