By Alan Jacobson
Micro CHP systems are an exciting home energy-producing technology currently used mostly in the UK and Europe. It is a popular and growing way to heat homes, and is seen as a way to meet progressive government objectives while saving the consumer money. It is likely that Micro CHP systems will also become more popular in the US soon because of their many benefits. In fact, given current oil and gas prices, there are currently companies studying the possibility of bringing this technology in a widespread way to the US.
CHP (combined heat and power) is an extremely efficient technology for generating electricity and heat simultaneously. This process is often referred to as “cogeneration”. Micro CHP systems can use a variety of generation technologies, including fuel cells, Stirling engines, or conventional means like gas and oil. Simply put, the heat generated in the process of creating electricity is recovered in a manner than allows it to be used to heat the home.
Micro CHP systems are very simple to install and can take the place of a conventional boiler or furnace. A micro CHP system can be as much as 90% energy efficient. Most who use domestic CHP report having a lower energy bill. In addition, in this age of Global Warming, micro CHP reduces the carbon “footprint” of homes that use it, reducing carbon dioxide emissions significantly.
One of the more exciting aspects of micro chp systems is their potential to allow people to actually sell the excess electricity produced when heating the home back to the electrical company – often called “on the grid” micro CHP. This could mean that you’d heat your house, and get a check from the electrical company!
MicroCHP is extremely easy to install. The challenge might be to find a qualified installer, particularly if you are in the United States. Some existing conventional systems can remain intact, with just retrofits and added parts installed. However others may need to be completely replaced. Depending on your current system, you should be able to recoup the cost of installation in anywhere from one to five years.
Recent predictions suggest that the use of “combined heat and power” (CHP) on a large scale by utilities could be a multi-billion dollar industry across the globe in just a few years. Many new houses are built with the systems installed, and the cost involved in adding micro CHP to existing homes is coming down dramatically. You could tap into this exciting new technology yourself for your own home, save money on your utility bills, and reduce your carbon “footprint” in the process.
About the Author: For more information about micro chp systems, stirling engines, and other high efficiency low emission home heating systems please go to aa href=”http://www.microchpsystems.com” title=”http://www.microchpsystems.com” target=”_blank” rel=’nofollow’>http://www.microchpsystems.com
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