6.4 Company-Specific Data

The information obtained concerning how the company currently purchases energy and capitalizes projects is very important to understand. Often times the required “Return on Investment (ROI)” is crucial to determining whether a CHP project makes economic sense. All companies use different investment decision criteria. Understanding the customer’s process and investment hurdle rates are important. Methods for evaluating investments are described in the following section.

Since the utility data does not always provide complete information on how a customer uses energy, it is important to get the customer to assist the designer in gaining insight into the various energy loads. It is especially important to fully understand how the waste heat from the generation equipment will be used. In many cases the generators will run at part load, thus reducing the amount of waste heat that is available.

Determine the most cost-effective approach to delivering the electricity to the customer. Obtaining an on-line drawing of the electric service entering the customer’s facility is an easy way to determine size of existing transformers, voltage of service, and type of switchgear already present.

Obtain information concerning siting of equipment. Gaining an understanding of the customers’ requirements for siting the equipment and the relationship between where the generators are located and where the waste heat will be used is critical.

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