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Adding sustainability skills to the team

Co-Gen and Tri-Gen

Reciprocating engine driving generator with jacket and exhaust gas heat recovery

Co-gen and Tri-gen are strategies to improve energy efficiency and to improve your NABERS rating. How do you  know if this is applicable to your facility?

Co-generation is the local production of electricity and heat where both forms of energy can be utilized on site or nearby. This improves the system efficiency considerably compared to using off-site generated electricity where the heat produced in the generation process is wasted. In the off-site production of electricity, waste also occurs in the transmission process.

Co-gen benefits include:

  • Improvement in system efficiency
    • Off-site electricity productiion – 30-51% Overall efficiency
    • Onsite Co-Generation – 78-85% Overall efficiency
  • Burning gas in the co-gen process also results in a substantial reduction in carbon emissions; in the order of a 78% reduction.
  • Lower energy costs.
  • Reduction in peak electrical load on the grid.
  • Increased NABERS Energy Rating.
  • A “Future proofed” building to make it easier to sell or let in the future.
  • Proportional increase in building value.

Co-gen can be a very effective technology but it does take careful design to ensure it will meet expectations. Considerations include:

  • Is there a good cost spread between fuel and electricity?
  • Is there a good electric load profile?
  • Is there simultaneous & consistent demand for electrical and thermal energies over long operating hours?
  • Is there availability of fuel?
  • Is there available space for equipment?
  • Are authorities agreeable with connection of the system to the grid and network?
  • Are exhaust gas emission limits achievable?
  • Is acceptable noise attenuation achievable?

 

If you want to explore this option for your facility here are some initial steps to take:

  • Decide on ALL other improvements and evaluate their impact on current demand and consumption.
  • Obtain electrical interval demand file from electricity supplier.
  • Obtain gas bills for the same period.
  • Evaluate existing equipment ie. Is replacement due?
  • Stocktake all thermal and electrical demands.
  • Obtain fuel cost data.
  • Obtain electricity costs.
  • Estimate rate of rise of cost for fuel and electricity.
  • Consider local conditions.

Application Solutions can prepare a preliminary study of your facility to quantify whether co-gen or tri-gen is suitable. This will give a sound basis for decision making and planning.

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