We have selected a few words and concepts that are good to understand before embarking on a CHP purchase.
Effective Electric Efficiency
Effective electric efficiency is the net electric output divided by the effective fuel input. Effective fuel input is the total fuel used by the combined heat and power (CHP) system minus the fuel that would be used by an 80 percent efficient boiler to generate the same amount of steam as produced by the CHP system.
In CHP systems, fuel sources can include natural gas, biomass, coal, biogas, or fuel oil.
Opportunity fuels are materials from agricultural or industrial processes that would otherwise be wasted but could power a CHP system and are available at or in close proximity to a CHP site.
Prime movers are the devices that convert fuels to electrical or mechanical energy.
Reliable power refers to the ability to provide electric power that meets stringent standards for minimal power interruptions.
Spark spread is the relative difference between the price of fuel and the price of power. Spark spread is highly dependent on the efficiency of conversion. For a CHP system, spark spread is the difference between the cost of fuel for the CHP system to produce power and heat on site and the offset cost of purchased grid power.