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Micro-CHP Trials

We monitored customers with micro-combined heat and power (Micro-CHP) units in order to better understand patterns of co-produced electricity.

What we wanted to find out

Micro-CHP units are similar to conventional a gas-burning condensing boiler but incorporate an electrical generator, with any excess heat produced from the electrical generation used to provide central heating and hot water. The customers taking part in this trial allowed us to monitor the electrical output of their Micro-CHP units, enabling us to draw conclusions about the likely impact of this particular technology on local electricity networks.

What we learned

Through our trials we learned that low carbon technologies are less disruptive and that customers are more willing to flex their electricity usage than was previously assumed. We found little evidence to suggest that our customers LCT installations were causing any major power quality issues. Specifically, through our domestic Micro-CHP we have been able to conclude that;

  • The data collected showed Micro-CHP units can offset household evening peak demand by a few hundred watts in winter, suggesting this particular technology could viably be used to reduce future network and generation costs.
  • However, at present, most units are more expensive and significantly larger than conventional gas boilers which raises questions about the likelihood of wide scale adoption

For a summary of findings from our trials with domestic and SME customers, please visit our conclusions page. Some of the key learning documents from our trials with solar PV users are listed below; further analysis and project outputs can be accessed using the advanced search function on our project library.

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