Improving Efficiency and Profitability of Combined Heat and Power
In a typical Community Energy system a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facility delivers electricity and heat to end-use customers within its service boundaries. Depending on the make-up of the end-user community a CHP is likely to experience on and off-peak periods that result in unit pricing fluctuations. Power sold during low-demand periods commands a reduced price meaning that the CHP enterprise takes a hit to its profitability and hence its sustainability.
With Integrated Community & Transportation Energy Networks (ICTEN), Change Energy has developed an equation-changing model by introducing a Transportation Energy component to typical CHP-based Community Energy systems. Essentially, a CHP system can improve its efficiency and hence its profitability in cases where it is feasible for vehicles within the community to run on clean, economical alternative fuels that have an electricity requirement. There are two reasons for this:
- Electricity demand for transportation requirements can be shifted to off-peak hours, increasing the value of power generated during these periods.
- Certain unit processes for alternative fuelling of vehicles produce heat which can be captured to augment the CHP heat product
This ICTEN schematic depicts how a municipality can put an Integrated Energy Network to practice to achieve maximum economic and environmental benefit.
Benefits Add Up with ‘Inside the Gate’ Electricity
Electricity created and used ‘inside the gate’ of an ICTEN installation is free of the delivery surcharges that you would pay to utilities ‘outside the gate’. This cheaper electricity can present a significant cost benefit for your transportation operations.
Different alternative vehicle technologies have different electricity needs. Plug-in electric vehicles are direct users of ‘inside the gate’ CHP-generated electricity. NG and hydrogen powered vehicles on the other hand require electricity as part of a process ahead of storing and dispensing fuel to the gas tank – compression in the case of NG and electrolysis and steam methane reforming (SMR) in the case of hydrogen. These stand-alone unit processes can be installed and operated ‘inside the gate’ to benefit from less costly electricity while providing captured waste heat to increase the overall efficiency of the CHP system.
Which vehicles in your operations make sense to switch to alternative fuels and power solutions? And which solution – battery, NG, H2 or biofuels – offers you the best opportunity? Change Energy’s unbiased fuel and technology perspective can help you in these considerations. Contact Us.
Our ICTEN Experience
In addition to comprehensive of modelling ICTEN opportunities, our leadership team at Change Energy has over 40 years of experience in designing and building natural gas and hydrogen vehicle fuelling systems that can be readily integrated with a range of CHP configurations.