MICRO-TURBINE CHP UNITS: SIMULATIONS OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COST IN ORNAMENTALS PRODUCTION

P.J.C. Hamer, F.A. Langton
CHP is the simultaneous production of heat and electricity. For the ornamenttals grower, the micro-turbine CHP has the potential to be used as an energy efficient method of generating electricity for supplementary lighting, and for providing heat and CO2 for crop production. In addition, CHP can make a significant contribution to Government energy policy by reducing CO2 emissions. Simulations were carried out using an energy balance model for a typical ornamentals lighting installation based on a CHP system comprising a micro-turbine CHP unit, a heat store and a back-up boiler. Energy profiles were compared with those given by a conventional system comprising a boiler to provide the heat, and taking electricity for the lamps from the National Grid. Separate simulations were conducted for four different lighting regimes, each with and without “temperature integration” (an energy-saving protocol). The study used current UK fuel costs. The simulations indicated that CHP can give running cost savings of 30% to 42%, with the higher savings achieved at long operating times. Furthermore micro-turbine CHP reduced CO2 emissions by between 25% and 35%. Temperature integration can save energy, particularly for the shorter lighting period. However, for the grower the micro-turbine is not a cost-effective means of providing energy unless the existing mains supply is not large enough to meet the power demand. This is because the repayment of the capital investment is large and similar to the running costs. Furthermore the potential benefit of increased availability of CO2 is not realised because the CHP is frequently not running at times when CO2 would have benefitted production.
Hamer, P.J.C. and Langton, F.A. (2005). MICRO-TURBINE CHP UNITS: SIMULATIONS OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COST IN ORNAMENTALS PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 691, 633-640
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.691.77
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.691.77
Temperature integration, energy balance models, bedding plants, CO2 emissions, supplementary lighting
English

Acta Horticulturae