Packaged CHP systems


Changing Sizing Philosophy

The best CHP packaged systems are designed for ease of service access and ground-up design for efficient electric generation plus heat recovery. Skid mounting speeds and simplifies site installation. Photo courtesy 2-G Cenergy.Furse notes that in the past the practice was to size systems purely on the thermal requirements of the site, producing only as much electricity as the thermal load would allow. “The latest trend seems to be that facilities are choosing advanced CHP systems with additional capacity, giving greater power flexibility. During peak hours they can run the system harder to offset power from the grid. The additional capacity also allows many sites to produce 100% of their needs in case of a blackout.”

She stresses, “Building owners want energy independence. They understand intrinsically the value of making your own electricity while capturing and repurposing the heat, and offsetting boilers. Offering turnkey solutions makes this technology more accessible and easier for a site to implement.”

A recent graphic example of the value of onsite generation was at a co-op residential facility in Greenwich Village, the Brevoort. It was able to maintain power, hot water and electric service during the recent outages in Manhattan following Superstorm Sandy. The 20-story facility is equipped with four InVerde 100 kW units that had replaced an oil-heat system two years earlier. According to Diane Nardone, the president of the co-op, theirs was the only building on lower Fifth Avenue to continue to offer energy and full service to residents.

Tecogen indicates that the low and stable prices for natural gas in recent years have influenced decisions on CHP. Furse says, “Sites that have been calculated as having a four or five year payback might now be only two to three years. Obviously, the shorter the payback, the more compelling the project.” 

Larger Units for Larger Loads

Another recent presenter was Bill Pearson from Western Branch Diesel, representing MTU Onsite Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tognum group, a German company with a worldwide presence in onsite energy generation. This company offers systems manufactured and assembled in North America with full CHP potential. They have two product lines, the Series 400 ranging from 128 to 354 kW, and the Series 4000 ranging from 764 to 1930 kW.

The MTU Onsite Energy systems are designed to operate over a wide range of gas fuels, including natural gas, biogas, landfill gas and coalbed methane. This makes these units particularly attractive for applications where multiple fuels are used. Units are available with or without heat recovery options for various industrial uses. 

Project Paybacks

The claimed efficiency of the MTU electrical generation ranges from 33% to 35%, and with full heat recovery, overall efficiency ranges from 90% to 92%, depending on the engine selected. Pearson explained that financial analysis indicates that a full heat recovery installation could have an investment payback of three years.

In another TMAF presentation, Stephen Zilonis from Dresser-Rand discussed his firm’s offerings in packaged CHP. The company offers an array of packaged or engineered systems well suited to industrial and institutional applications, including systems powered by Guascor or Caterpillar. 

Cooling Option

One intriguing possibility is the Dresser-Rand Caterpillar Trigen Package, which includes a 555 kW electrical output, hot water delivered at 180° F in quantities of 3,617,000 Btu/hr, and absorption cooling totaling 130 ton capacity. The entire unit is skid mounted and suitable for indoor or outdoor installation. The package includes all utility-required controls and customer monitoring capabilities. 

Wide Range of Sizes

For any package CHP installation, it is important to accurately characterize the load to be served and to evaluate the physical space available for the CHP plant. 2G-Cenergy is a firm with long experience in gas-fueled CNG plants in Europe and now offering this technology in North America. The company offers units with capacities ranging from 80 kWe to 3 MWe, and designed for various fuels, including natural gas and many biofuels. In particular they emphasize that their units can be sited either indoors or outdoors, and they make special accommodation for use with absorption chiller packages. 

Getting Started

As you consider the feasibility of CHP for your plant or institution, it is important to gather full-year energy usage information for electrical and boiler operations so that total energy requirements can be accurately forecast.  Your natural gas utility can be of assistance in explaining service policies and can tell you about other CHP installations in your area.

More Info:


Energy Solutions Center Understanding CHP

DOE Industrial Distributed Energy


MTU Onsite Energy


<< First < Previous Page 1 Page 2 Next > Last >>

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me