6.5 CHP Equipment Data

The first step is to determine the estimated size of the proposed CHP system. This requires a good understanding of the customer’s energy use profile. In many cases the required size of the CHP plant will allow the designer to develop multiple options. These options will consider the number of generators and the sizes required.

Once the appropriate technology has been identified, specific manufacturer’s equipment needs to be selected and reviewed. The appropriate selection depends on the size of the system and the cost of the equipment. It is recommended that quotations from at least two manufacturers should be obtained.

6.5.1 Cost Estimate

Developing the appropriate equipment cost data includes the following:

  • Price of the generator, ancillary equipment, controls, and interconnects.
    • The price for all quotations should be based on the same build specification. This is important since manufacturers often use a different specification of standard components. Site specific installation costs may vary and must be considered.
  • Performance Specification
    • The actual performance of the equipment is critical to comparing equipment. All performance data should be developed using comparable conditions and fuel composition. The designer needs to know the full load rating of the generator when the unit is used in a prime power or continuous duty application.
  • Heat Balance of the Generator Set
    • If the generator is going to be part of a CHP system, knowing the heat balance of the engine or turbine is critical.
  • Service Contract Cost
    • The cost of system maintenance will impact the economics of a CHP proposal. It is necessary to get a firm quote for the cost of maintenance and a description of what is covered. Many times the quotations used only cover routine maintenance and the customer is expecting complete coverage (routine, scheduled and unscheduled events).
  • Determine how the waste heat from the generator set will be used.
  • Determine if the waste heat recovery can always be utilized.
  • Determine the cost of utility interconnect studies and charges.
  • Determine and estimate fuel costs for the life of the project, including back-up utility power to allow sensitivity analyses.
  • Determine the cost of power interruptions on customers operations.


Further Investigation Warranted

Data collection is the first step in the assessment process. Prior to continuing into the Technical Feasibility Phase, the designer must perform a quick check to see if the project makes sense. The data collected should be sufficientto determine if the energy cost savings is enough to justify further investigation. A “YES” or “NO” decision should be made before proceeding to the next phase of the assessment.

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