cogen 2000

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Options for upgrading residential CHP (District Heating)

COGEN Europe annual conference, Brussels 2000

"All energy generation options levy environmental costs. Some of these can be mitigated through careful planning and appropriate technology configurations."  Adam Serchuk in Renewable Energy World July 2000

There is little doubt that CHP/CH (Combined Heat & Power / Community Heating) is an environmentally superior solution to the separate production of heat and (remote) power. It is widely recognised as a leading CO2 mitigation technology. However, it is not without economic challenges nor is it without some degree of environmental impact. Whilst we might regret the economic and other obstacles, and many believe they are unfair for a range of reasons, they are real. If we hope to overcome these obstacles and improve penetration of CHP in the residential sector, we therefore need to seek optimum solutions rather than indiscriminately applying CH technology. These challenges are particularly severe for new CHP/CH schemes, but they also face those intending to refurbish existing schemes. This paper seeks to evaluate a range of technological solutions for a variety of applications applied to the refurbishment and upgrading of an existing CHP/CH scheme, based on economic and environmental objectives.


Although the economics and applicability of technologies will vary considerably from scheme to scheme, in broad terms it can be concluded that CHP in conjunction with a distributed heat network will be limited to very high density housing areas in conjunction with large numbers of connections. Even for existing schemes, if the heat distribution network requires anything more than minor renovation, CH will have difficulty competing with other available technologies. High density, but smaller schemes may however, take advantage of block heating with CHP.

However, CHP will remain unattractive for the majority of UK housing until micro CHP systems become commercially available. At that time, economic and logistic considerations will make this the most cost effective and environmentally benign option for mass housing.






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This site was last updated on 01 January 2015  Jeremy Harrison