We are thrilled to announce that Highland West Energy was recently featured as an industry expert in a featured article from theNEWS titled CHP: Old Technology Sparks a New Interest in HVAC Industry. As leaders in the energy efficiency, CHP, VRF field, we are so proud to be part of an industry working towards sustainable energy systems, using technology systems that work.
Included in this article was information regarding the benefits, whether or not CHP is a good fit, and how to get started working with an experienced CHP contractor. Below, we’ve summarized the article for our readers, but you can check out the full story here.
The benefits of CHP are wide ranging; advantages of combined heat and power include, utility savings, environmentally friendly(reduction in pollution), independent electricity output and as Marcia Karr professional engineer (P.E.) at Engineer in a Pocket LLP, puts it, having acquired substantial experience working on technology selection and proper sizing for CHP projects in multiple capacities over the years.
“For every $1 we put into energy, we normally get about 50 cents worth of work,” she said. “But, with CHP, that same dollar offers about 75 cents worth of work, thereby saving your customers about 25 percent on their utility costs.”
Is CHP A Good Fit & For Who?
“A CHP/HVAC contractor needs to understand the importance and process of design
build contracting versus typical bid work,” said (our very own) Nolan Hill, CEO of Highland West Energy in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “Every project that we have been involved with has had a significant amount of engineering work or input. This means both providing information and system solutions to P.E.[s] in the engineering process and also during in the installation.”
Hill goes onto to say that a working knowledge of CHP and engine operations can be learned over a period of time, but a contractor must be willing and able to step in and learn the basics of electrical. Additionally, Karr follows this by explaining, “ A good CHP system must operate 85 percent of the time or more, delivering electricity and useful thermal energy.”
“The best applications for CHP are those facilities with thermal loads all year,” Karr said. “Examples of the best commercial buildings include hotels, multifamily apartments, commercial kitchens, YMCA and health clubs with pools, and data centers with cooling loads all year. Having hot and/or chilled water loads all year allows for the maximum energy saving performance.”
For experienced and interested contractors there are an assortment of opportunities, like the DOE Technical DOE Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) program is proving to be an excellent resource.
According to Hill, this program, which is spread out across the country is a great resource for teaching the ins and outs of CHP development.
The Bottom Line
Though CHP isn’t for everyone quite yet. There are some things to consider, but the numerous benefits of CHP greatly outweigh the disadvantages of this energy technology system. It’s important to understand that when investing in CHP, it’s just that, an investment. Every investment takes a lot of money up front and continual upkeep to maintain productivity. However, even with the initial investment and overall upkeep Highland West Energy’s current clients are seeing 35 percent energy savings and over 50 percent reduction in CO2, NOx, and SOx emissions.
Proving that not only is CHP good for the environment, but it’s also good for your bottom line.