News Brief

British Study Shows Promise for Micro-CHP

The Carbon Trust, a government-funded private company focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the U.K., has released an interim report on the potential carbon and cost savings offered by micro-combined-heat-and-power (CHP) systems for small commercial and residential buildings. The study, which has measured the performance of 87 micro-CHP systems since 2006, found that the systems can provide carbon savings of 15%–20% over traditional condensing boilers in small commercial applications, and 5%–10% in older, larger houses with high heating bills. The systems did not offer great carbon or energy cost savings in newer homes that were smaller and better insulated. The highest savings in all situations came from micro-CHP systems that had long operating times with few on-off cycles. The Carbon Trust is also measuring the performance of domestic condensing boiler installations to provide a baseline for the study and has found that the operating efficiency of these boilers is 4%–5% lower than the stated efficiency. A final report on the study is due out in 2008; more on the project is available at www.carbontrust.co.uk.

Published January 1, 2008

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