New Video Features Micro-CHP Units in Action

Training video explains the technology and advantages of residential combined heat and power (CHP) units.

At the end of one of the Propane Education & Research Council's latest training videos, Innovative Propane Technologies: Micro–Combined Heat and Power (CHP), narrator Rich Binsacca discusses some of the hurdles this technology must overcome to achieve mainstream status. The first obstacle is awareness. That's because once construction professionals learn about CHP or cogeneration systems — how they work, what they produce — they understand the technology's merits quickly.

PERC's 12-minute video is a great resource for anyone looking to understand the ins and outs of a micro-CHP system. Basically, a micro-CHP unit features a natural gas or propane-fueled combustion engine that generates both thermal energy for heating and electricity to supplement or even replace grid-supplied power.

This technology has been used successfully for decades, primarily in massive industrial buildings. Today, though, a number of manufacturers — most notably Marathon Engine Systems and Yanmar — have been able to scale down the technology (hence, "micro") for residential and light commercial buildings.

The video also demonstrates a micro-CHP system's primary components; how it generates both thermal energy and electricity; expected thermal efficiencies and electrical offsets; features, such as remote real-time monitoring; retrofitting; and the ideal conditions for efficient operation.

PERC's Propane Exceptional Product program offers incentives for trying out a micro-CHP system. Construction pros considering a micro-CHP system should see if their application qualifies for inclusion in the program. If it does, they can receive up to $10,000 toward the purchase and use of eligible products. Currently, two micro-CHP systems qualify: the Marathon Ecopower, a 4.7-kilowatt system, and the Yanmar CP10WN, a 10-kilowatt system. Both are designed for residential and small commercial installations.


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