Investigation into micro co-generation

White, Alan Investigation into micro co-generation. [Dissertation]

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The world‟s leading experts have provided vast amounts of evidence to support that climate change is already upon us. Much has been said regarding the reduction of green house gases including Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. A multi action approach has been taken by world powers, resulting in the Kyoto agreement, the European Community Directives, the U.K‟s setting out of statutory legislation and Act‟s to which designers, builders, land lords and owners must comply.
This dissertation investigates the role that micro combined heat and power or co-generation can make to this commitment within the domestic environment.
Most households obtain electric power from the national grid network, with space heating and hot water from a gas-fired boiler. In contrast, residential micro combined heat and power systems (micro-CHP) may use a prime mover to generate electric power and harness waste thermal energy produced in the power-generation process to provide heat to satisfy space heating and domestic hot water heating.
The investigation will look at the suitability of micro CHP for the domestic environment, whether this plant is suitable for heating individual installations. Also the benefits and suitability of their applications.
The UK government plan is the intention to build low-carbon generating stations along with its commitment to the European Commission‟s 20/20/20 strategic energy review. The government has set an ambitious target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 on 1990 levels, a binding target of a 20% share of renewable energies by 2020, and, an agreement to implement the EU‟s energy efficiency action plan as the means of reducing the EU‟s energy consumption by twenty percent by 2020. In 2004 there were less than one hundred thousand micro- generation installations in the UK yet it is possible that in the lead up to 2050, up to 40% of the electrical generating requirements shall be met with micro-generation including micro combined heat and power.
This is further possible, as this investigation illustrates with the use of micro combined heat and power installations within residential properties would greatly enhance the chances of meeting the 20/20/20 goals. Generating electricity locally while heating the home at peak times, could possibly take the strain on centralised power generation. With the estimation that 85% of homes which are in existence today, of which 70% are of the 3 bedroom type, the focus of this dissertation will remain so by 2050, the potential to generate electricity locally within each property, or even within groups of properties, it is an extremely worthwhile consideration.

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