Increasing the energy efficiency of CHP gas engines

22/07/2019

Summary

This technology is about the exploitation of low-temperature waste heat sources of CHP gas engines, which are discharged with exhaust gases and cooling system into the environment.

Technology Description

Cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP) is one of the priorities in line with the EU's commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve environmental goals. The main objective of the project is to develop an innovative solution for the exploitation of low-temperature waste heat sources of CHP gas engines, which are discharged with exhaust gases and cooling system into the environment. The heat that would be produced by exploiting low-temperature heat sources of CHP would be used for preheating the return water of the high-temperature heating system and a part of the CHP produced electricity would be used to drive a compressor of heat pumps (HP).  

Main advantages

  • Short payback period of investment HP is approximately 3.5 years
  • Increase the overall energy efficiency of CHP gas engines
  • 30 to 40 % reduction in operating subsidies for the operation of CHP gas engines
  • Up to 30 % reduction in production costs of heat of CHP gas engines for heating urban areas
  • A reduction of more than 40 % of natural gas consumption for the same heat production and consequently reduction of CO2 emissions into the environment
  • The possibility of implementing innovation on new or existing CHP gas engines

Stage of development

The proposed project would be implemented at 8.5 kW mini CHP where a smaller the heat pump utilized the low-temperature heat source of the exhaust gas of the mini CHP gas engine. The heat pump would cool the exhaust gas of the gas engine to about 5°C. When cooling the exhaust gas of the CHP gas engine with the heat pump, it starts at a temperature of 48°C to condense water vapor, which is the product of the natural gas combustion in the gas engine.

Challenge and needs

The proposed patented system of exploiting low-temperature heat sources of the CHP gas engines with heat pumps, responding to the needs of the economy, is an innovative and economically profitable investment that stands out for technical excellence. It allows the use of waste low-temperature heat of the CHP gas engines and consequently up to 40 % natural gas savings (depending on the size and electric efficiency of CHP) with the same heat production, up to 40 % reduction of CO2 emissions and cost-effective investment with short payback period.

Intellectual property

The technology is protected by a patent WO2016051246A1 - Method and apparatus for cogeneration power plant waste heat source utilization by incorporated water source high temperature heat pump, priority date 3 October 2014, patent owner is University of Maribor, inventors are Darko Goričanec, Jurij Krope and Stane Božičnik.

Potential markets and targets

Heat is needed everywhere for all kind of different purposes. Somewhere we need heat for heating buildings like home, hospitals and hotels elsewhere we need it for food processing industry. At present, low-temperature sources of CHP gas engines are not being exploited with the heat pumps in the world. The presented project would supplant the hot-water boilers due to increased utilization of primary fuel from the market.

Potential partners

The installation of the described technology demonstrated in the relevant environment (TRL 3-6) will be carried out with a partner, which is engaged in the production of geosondes and wells for the exploitation of groundwater by heat pumps, high temperature heating, district heating etc.

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