Ongoing technical advancements, cost-effective performance, and low-carbon emissions technologies are some of the factors that are likely to drive the North America micro CHP market in the coming years. The micro CHP is mainly a group of technologies generating both heat and electricity. This technology was developed so as to enhance the level of energy generated by burning fuel to generate electricity, increasing efficiency of the combustion process. The key advantage of micro combined heat & power is that the technology uses a larger percentage of the energy stored in the fuel than the present offerings.
The micro CHP boilers that are available for usage in the domestic market not only produces heat for spaces and hot water, but also produces electricity to be utilized in homes. It generally the heat by product of the electricity generation process which heats the home. In addition, these micro CHP systems have similar shape and size to that of conventional domestic boilers and could be hung on wall or kept standing on floor. The key difference from a standard boiler is that it is capable of generating electricity at the time of heating water.
These boilers are basically powered by mains gas or LPG, they can substantially lower down the carbon dioxide emissions. This technology is considered to ideal for addressing the issue of domestic carbon emission owing to their productivity and efficiency. In addition to this, it is noted that in future there might be models which will be powered by bio-liquids or oil.
The overall North America micro CHP market is bifurcated in terms of capacity, fuel, prime mover, application, and regional landscape.
Based on prime mover, the market is classified into fuel cell, Stirling engine, and internal combustion engine. Stirling engines also known as hot gas engine are not like other energy converter since these can convert low-emission, renewable, and environment-friendly fuels into movement or kinetic energy.
The heat for Stirling engine is usually supplied from outside the device, not like in Otto or diesel engine where the combustion occurs internally. Essentially, this heat comes from various other energy sources which includes wood pellets.
The mechanical energy in the Stirling engine is generated mainly because of two different temperature zones, where enclosed process gas is heated as well as cooled. A compression wave is generated owing to the different expansion of the gas, which further moves a piston. One of the key advantages of Stirling engine is for generating low electrical power.
In terms of application, the small or micro CHPs are often utilized in residential properties, smaller industrial sites, and the service sector. The usage of CHP in multi-residential complexes and commercial buildings has increased over the time. This is because of the cost reductions and technical enhancements in smaller-scale, and pre-packed systems matching specific thermal and electrical needs.
The institutional and commercial of CHP users are hospitals, hotels, and offices, which have substantial energy costs as a part of their total operating costs, and also have a well-balanced and persistent electric and thermal load.
On the geographical front, the micro CHP market in North America, specifically in Canada is likely to witness growth in the coming years. It is noted that the Canadian government is increasingly inclining towards the introduction of CHP initiatives that promote the adoption of residential as well as commercial natural gas powered micro CHP systems. This is creating substantial growth impetus for the market across North America.