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More responsible CHP system design is needed, says Bosch

Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating is calling for a more responsible approach to CHP system design.
The company's appeal follows observations that there are still a large number of electrically-biased CHP systems that have been designed to reject heat unnecessarily.

Commercial technical operations manager at Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating, Pete Mills, said: 'The number of small-scale CHP systems that have been designed to prioritise financial gains over efficiency benefits is a huge concern as the industry attempts to reduce emissions in the non-domestic sector.'

He continued: 'A worrying number of CHP systems are being designed to routinely reject large proportions of the heat generated, via dry air coolers. In the vast majority of cases, this should be considered poor practice as it not only reduces efficiency levels, but also hampers CO2 and financial saving potential. In such instances, more thought needs to go into the ways heat can be used rather than wasted.

'What stakeholders must remember is that CHP modules have been developed to cater for the provision of both heat and electrical demand within a building. If the product of one of these functions is wasted, it is impossible for the system to perform to its full design specification.'

Mr Mills proposed that the Quality Assurance scheme for Combined Heat and Power (CHPQA) should always be a goal for system designers.

'Although voluntary, the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Quality Assurance scheme offers a significant number of additional benefits for CHP investors. Those with small scale schemes where heat is not rejected can benefit from further savings through the Climate Change Levy (CCL) exemption, access to Enhanced Capital Allowances, and metering arrangements to monitor the quality of the scheme. These are all opportunities which should be taken advantage of.'

He continued: 'The UK industry has learnt a number of lessons since the adoption of CHP technology, but what we need to remember is that the technology has the potential to offer some of the most cost effective CO2 savings, as well as a secure electricity supply. As with any low carbon technology however, these benefits are subject to responsible design, installation and operation practices.'

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9 September 2013


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