Combined Heat and Power

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Combined heat and power (CHP) is a technology which can provide a building with both heating and electricity, generated in a single process, with a typical ratio of about 2:1. Domestic installations are usually powered by mains gas or LPG, although larger commercial units can run on a variety of fuels.

Unlike conventional electrical generation – where coal and gas-fired power stations have to vent huge amounts of unused heat into the atmosphere – CHP captures a much higher proportion of the heat produced, which ensures much greater efficiency. In addition, the relative efficiency of the process is higher as the electricity is generated on-site, which means that losses incurred through the transmission and distribution network can be avoided.

As with other various other renewable electricity-generation technologies, micro-CHP is eligible for Feed-in Tariff payments. The Government has limited this to the first 30,000 units, although take up has been extremely low with only 1% of this number registered by February 2012. This is for very small installations of less than 2 kW.

Firstly, we'll look at the benefits of CHP:

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