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

In this Guideline

What is Combined Heat and Power?

What are the benefits of Combined Heat and Power?

Who can benefit from Combined Heat and Power?

Different types of CHP systems for businesses

Combined Heat and Power maintenance

The Combined Heat and Power Quality Assurance Scheme

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