Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

What is Combined Heat and Power?

What is a chp system?

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the generation of usable heat and power - usually electricity - simultaneously in a single process. It utilises the heat which would otherwise be wasted when generating electrical or mechanical power. CHP is technologically proven and reliable and plays a key role in helping to reduce the UK's carbon emissions.

It is a highly flexible way of providing the energy requirements for businesses, as it can be used on any scale - from a micro-CHP unit of several kilowatts suitable for small businesses, up to a medium-sized power station servicing a whole industrial complex.

It can also run on a range of fuels, including gas, waste and biomass.

How it works

CHP systems supply heat where additional fuel would ordinarily need to be burned to get the same output - for example, by a conventional boiler.

A gas or steam turbine or an engine is used to drive an alternator, with the electricity produced either used on-site or exported to the grid.

The heat produced can then be used for a number of applications, including steam for industrial processes and hot water for space heating and for cooling via a technology known as 'absorption chillers'.

Further information

Department of Energy and Climate Change: CHP explained

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