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Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

CHP Can Work for You

The feasibility of using combined heat and power in any operation depends on the energy load profile - how power is used, energy costs, how efficiently the energy produced can be utilized and the value and importance of reliable, uninterrupted power supply to the operations.

The first step to considering CHP, each customer needs to understand their own operational needs, and power and thermal consumption patterns (peak / off peak demand, weekly vs. weekend, seasonal, shutdowns).

Union Gas is committed to helping customers better understand combined heat and power - to that end we have developed a program to encourage the adoption of a CHP system.

To learn more about combined heat and power contact your Union Gas Account Manager today.

  • Am I a good candidate for CHP? Checklist of things to consider

    I should consider CHP if I...

    • Have problems with power quality (voltage blips, brown outs) that affect my business
    • Have problems with power reliability (outages) that affect my business
    • Believe that power quality and power reliability will decline in the future
    • Want to be less dependent on the electricity grid
    • Need to improve the operational efficiency of the plant (e.g. reduce overall cost)
    • Understand the “divergent spark spread” and believe that electricity rates and costs will continue to increase
    • Natural gas rates and costs will be relatively flat
    • Want to avoid paying some electricity cost items (such as Global Adjustment, Debt Retirement Charge)
    • Have aging equipment (boilers) that needs replacing
    • Want to expand but my local electric distribution company is unable to provide the power I need or it comes with an exorbitant price tag
    • Am building in an area that is not serviced by a local electric distribution company
    • Have a corporate culture that supports technology improvement
    • Am familiar and comfortable operating and maintaining rotating equipment
    • Want to be recognized as doing the “right thing” (e.g. exhibiting green leadership)
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  • How do I assess if CHP will work for me? Checklist of things to do next

    • Know my electricity profile
      • Understand load profiles
      • Peak load vs. base load
      • Day vs. night
      • Weekday vs. weekend
      • Peak season vs. off-peak season
      • Understand load requirements (MW vs. MWhrs)
    • Know my electricity cost
      • Calculate electricity cost
      • Obtain copies of last 12 months utility bills
    • Know my thermal profile
      • Understand my facility requirements (heat, water, steam, temperature, pressure, quantities)
      • Understand peak load vs. base load
      • Understand day vs. night, weekday vs. weekend, seasonality
    • Know my thermal cost
      • Calculate thermal cost
      • Obtain copies of last 12 months of gas utility bills (assuming thermal needs are provided by natural gas)
      • Calculate the cost to my business of power quality (voltage blips) and power reliability (outages) issue
      • Frequency, length of outage, direct cost, indirect cost, loss of business
    • Assess my “spark spread”
    • Educate myself on CHP
      • Courses, conferences, associations, web search
      • Talk to existing CHP owner/operators, take a site tour
      • Learn about electricity markets (HOEP, Global Adjustment, Debt Retirement Charge, Time of Use Rates)
    • Develop a contact at my local electric distribution company
    • Search for possible funding sources
      • OPA: Industrial Accelerator, CHPSOP, CHP IV, DR1, DR 3
    • Create an internal project team
      • Get people resources assigned to the project
      • Keep senior management informed, seek buy-in early
      • Understand corporate payback hurdle rates, approval process
    • Seek advice (first phase, probably zero cost)
      • Talk to your Union Gas Account Manager
      • Consultants, engineering firms
      • Equipment suppliers
    • Conduct “first cut screening”
      • Union Gas Account Manager can help (no cost)
    • Undertake a feasibility study (second phase, estimated cost approximately $10,000-$15,000)
      • Consultants, engineering firms
      • Equipment suppliers
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