Communal Heating Power Stations, or CHPs, work with the principle of cogeneration, which means that a combustion engine or stirling engine powering a generator that produces power. The emerging warmth can be used directly. A big advantage of systems like that is the decentral production of energy without long conduction losses and unefficient working power stations, that only depollute warmth as a by-product.
CHPs and Mini-CHPs have an effectiveness of 80-90%. That means, that from the used primary energy up to 90% power and heat can be produced. So the CHP comparatively has an high effectiveness.
At a conventional power station losses at transfers and transformations arise that high, that these power stations have an effectiveness of only 40%. This shows how effective the work of a CHP is.
The most known example is the engine of a car. On one hand it is responsible for the impulse of a car, on the other hand also the heating system of the car is operated in winter by it. Even the CHP is operated by engines, for example diesel- or gasoline engines. It produces power and heat and can be used peripheral.
During the last years the so called Mini-CHP and Micro-CHP have been developed, which are clearly smaller and compactly. So this one is suitable for private using. It can be used in small appartment houses or even in detached houses.
A CHP is combined with the allready existing and conventional house technology and makes for the basic services. So it is suitable both at new building and modernizations. The performance of the CHP depends on the demand and is adjuted to it. Generally the simultaneously demand of warmth and energy should be ensured. High fully-usage-hours and a high own consumption of the energy produced by the CHP has to be ensured. Only in that case a CHP works actually economic.
Based on these requirements many different applications are due to the CHP. Its use is reasonable both, in the private section as also in the public use. The CHP lends itself to appartment houses, office buildings and to school. Companies like carpenters, butcher shops or even bakeries have a hight energy usage, so that the CHP is working efficient there. The same applies to public facilities like hotels, clinics or hospitals and swimming baths. Besides that the use of a CHP as electrical power supply is also possible in intelligent afterheat networks.
For detached house and appartment houses with a comparatively lower warmth demand the so called Micro-CHPs are more reasonable. With the low warmth demand Micro-CHPs are suitable better as the Mini-CHPs. The Micro-CHPs have performances of about 1KW in the thermic area. In case the need is temporarely higher than the values a burner is integrated, which delivers the additional efforts.
Another point of view can just be the higher efficience if you explain the operators, that they own a more efficiently gas heating that is also able to reduce the energy costs.
Meanwhile, for special operations there are CHPs whose fuels are pellets or wood.