5kWe class

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MICRO CHP
MICRO CHP
the big picture
By Jeremy Harrison
Photo book

1kWe class | 5kWe class | 10kWe class

All the product sin this size range are intended for installation in a plant room, and thus only suitable for very large homes (typically those with swimming pools), guest houses, residential homes or small commercial buildings.  All require the addition of a peaking boiler and may be installed in cascade with a number of other CHP units or alternative heating sources.
VIESSMANN 5kWe AISIN SEIKI 6.0kWe BAXI DACHS 5kWe VAILLANT 4.7kWe

In 2013, Viessmann introduced their 5kWe ICE based M-5/13 manufactured by subsidiary ESS, to supplement their micro CHP portfolio.  It is the smallest of their ICE based CHP range with electrical outputs up to 400kWe.

The engine is provided with a three way catalytic converter to minimise emissions and Viessmann offer a range of service options to ensure reliable long term operation, including remote monitoring and control if required.

 

In addition to supplying engines to OEM micro CHP manufacturers, such as EC Power, the Toyota Group are also developing their own micro CHP products through subsidiaries DENSO and Aisin Seiki.

The Aisin 6kWe unit has been available for a number of years now in Japan and the USA and has, as expected from a manufacturer with this pedigree, demonstrated reliable and consistent performance at an acceptable, if not class leading level.

Developed and manufactured by the BDR Thermea Group company Senertec GmbH, the DACHS is a European manufactured mini-CHP unit. Operating reliably and successfully across Europe for many years, the DACHS has achieved sales of over 8,000 units, mainly in Germany.

Its primary application is for small hotels and apartment blocks (e.g. sheltered housing) where there is a continuous electrical and thermal baseload.  The resulting high annual operating hours provide the substantial savings required to pay back the relatively high capital cost.

However, it is physically too large and has too high an electrical output to be suitable for anything but the largest family homes, or those with swimming pools.

The Ecopower 1.5-4.7kWe micro CHP unit is based on the Marathon gas engine.

The ability to modulate electrical power output to match demand is believed by its developers to offer significant benefits over its competitors. 

However, the high capital cost of this product will require very high running hours at full load in order to generate sufficient electricity to recover the investment. 

As for the Baxi Dachs unit, it is best suited to small commercial premises and multi family apartment blocks.

Vaillant now offers a nominal 3.0kWe (1.5-3.0kWe) and 4.7kWe (1.5-4.7kWe) version of the engine in addition to the 1.0kWe Honda derivative.

Image source: Aisin

Electrical output

5.5kWe

Efficiency

27%

Electrical output

6.0kWe

Efficiency

26.5%

Electrical output

5.3kWe

Electrical output

1.5-3.0kWe (ECOPOWER 3.0)

1.5-4.7kWe (ECOPOWER 4.7)

Thermal output 13.5kWt

Efficiency

67%

Thermal output 13.5kWt

Efficiency

59.5%

Thermal output

10.4kWt

Thermal output

4.7-8.0kWt (ECOPOWER 3.0)

4.7-12.5kWt (ECOPOWER 4.7)

Application

Small commercial

Application

Small commercial

Application

Small commercial

Application

Small commercial

   

Installed cost

13000 plus VAT

 

Availability

2013

Availability

2004 trial USA

Availability

2000 (Europe)

2003 (UK)

Availability

2008 (Europe)

       
KIRSCH 4kWe PROENVIS 3.7kWe YANMAR 4kWe RMB ENERGIE

Kirsch have developed a range of small CHP systems with electrical outputs up to 50kW.  Kirsch micro, as the nano, is based on Briggs & Stratton ICE technology with a power output up to 4kWe.

Again, the electrical efficiency of 25% is rather low compared with leading competitors.

With a range of stepped electrical outputs, it can be configured to run either thermally led or optimised for electrical output.

As with the nano, the relatively high thermal output will confine this product to applications with very substantial thermal demands, such as small hotels.

Despite the service requirement every 2,500 hours and a major overhaul at 20,000 hours, it is claimed to have a life of up to 20 years, implying low expected annual run hours  which, as for the nano, make paybacks challenging.

It is currently only available in Germany.

The Proenvis prio 1.4, (again presumably indicating its thermal and electrical outputs respectively) and designated by its manufacturer as "mini-CHP" is another German ICE based micro CHP product.  It is capable of modulating its electrical output between 2-3.8kWe.

At the same time it produces between 5.6-10.7kWt of heat with an overall efficiency of 92%, 24% electrical and 68% thermal. Rather unusually this is lower than the efficiency for their "nano-CHP" product and significantly lower than for competitors in this power range.

The LPG fuelled variant has a slightly higher overall efficiency of 95%, but electrical efficiency remains at an unimpressive 25%.

The floor-mounted product is 70x98x98cm with a weight of 350kg.

Fixed price service packages are offered including the 5,000 hour oil and filter change.

Following the successful introduction of their mini CHP products in 2006, Yanmar added a 4kWe micro CHP to their range three years later.

As with the larger units, this packaged unit is suitable for external location.  Now available from ENER.G in the UK.

Also in common with the larger engines, the 4kWe product makes use of the advanced Miller Cycle.
The lean-burn system optimizes ignition timing and matches the excess intake air; this reduces NOx and gives low-fuel consumption.

Furthermore, the adoption of the Miller Cycle type engine creates even higher operating efficiency. The engine offers a maintenance interval of 10,000 hours, which is one of the industry's longest for a cogeneration gas engine.
 

 

Yet another German ICE based micro CHP unit!  The growing proliferation of products in this class may be more a reflection of market pull (or, cynics might argue, Government subsidy) than any major technical developments.  A number of products have been launched based on conventional ICE prime movers, focussing on mitigating the limitations of the technology rather than seeking to address the fundamentals through engine design.

In this case the Toyota industrial engine is complemented by advanced acoustic isolation, catalytic converter and remote diagnostics to pre-empt failure, providing anticipatory on-line service intervention.

The unit is able to modulate power output up to 5kWe and can be monitored either from the local interface or remotely via the internet.

Founded in 2008, RMB Energie is a specialist CHP manufacturer with products up to 20kWe output.

Image source: kirsch.de

Image source: proenvis.de

Image source: Yanmar

Image source: RMB Energie

Electrical output

2, 3, 4kWe

Electrical efficiency

25%

Electrical output

2.0-3.8kWe

Electrical efficiency

24%

Electrical output

3.87kWe

Electrical efficiency

26.7%

Electrical output

2.9-5.0kWe

Electrical efficiency

26.3.0%

Thermal output

8, 10, 12kWt

Thermal efficiency

70%

Thermal output

5.6-10.7kWt

Thermal efficiency

68%

Thermal output

8.38kWt

Thermal efficiency

57.8%

Thermal output

13.0kWt

Thermal efficiency

65.7%

Application

Small commercial

Application

Small commercial

Application

Small commercial

Application

Small commercial

     

Eligible for 2,500 subsidy (Germany)

Availability

2011 Germany

Availability

2011 Germany

Availability

2009 Europe

Availability

2011 Europe

Page updated 19th October 2013

 

 

 

MICRO CHP
MICRO CHP
the big picture
By Jeremy Harrison
Photo book

 

 

Contact : info@microchap.info

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This site was (partially) last updated on 12th August 2017 Jeremy Harrison