Dimensioning a microturbine-driven CHP plant
How to integrate micro-CHP into the residential and tertiary sectors?
Decentralised energy production by means of CHP allows for on-site recovery of the heat produced when generating electricity and a reduction in primary energy consumption. Nowadays, there are any number of technologies available (internal and external combustion engines, fuel cells, etc.) that can be incorporated into residential and tertiary buildings, but they are still under-exploited in France compared to other countries.
Efficacity joined forces with Engie LAB and Swiss consultant engineers Planair to incorporate innovative micro-CHP (µCHP) technology into halfway house L’Autre Toît in Besançon (a residential building consisting of 25 housing units and communal areas designed primarily for the ageing or those suffering from severe isolation or exclusion and whose situation makes it difficult to access conventional housing).
Heating is provided by CHP powered by a natural gas microturbine designed and manufactured by a Dutch startup (MTT) affiliated to the University of Eindhoven. The digital simulation studies conducted by Efficacity served to optimise the technical integration of the µCHP solution into the existing heating system – consisting of two condensing boilers – using a 500L thermal storage tank and a novel regulation system devised by Efficacity and Planair. The system is programmed to coordinate the boilers and µCHP, optimising the operation of the microturbine to improve output and encourage its use to generate energy.
The results of the simulation study based on Efficacity’s research work were presented to the project holders (Grand Besançon Habitat and GRDF), and the equipment was subsequently installed by the firm of Nouveau and came on stream on 7 February 2017.
The electrical output (3 kW) and thermal output (15 kW) of the CHP plant will be used on site on a self-consumption basis, so as to reduce residents’ heating and electricity bills and the building’s greenhouse gas emissions. The power produced by the system also reduces the building’s needs at peak demand periods for the national grid.