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16 Dec 2012 02:12:16

Loughborough University and ENER-G celebrate low carbon success

ENER-G CHP system at Loughborough University
Loughborough University and combined heat and power (CHP) specialist ENER-G have won a major energy industry award for excellence in low carbon energy generation.

The ENER-G CHP project that powers the main campus and conference centre received the Combined Heat and Power Association’s (CHPA) Campus, Community and Residential Award.

Combined heat and power (CHP) integrates the production of usable heat and electricity in one single, highly efficient process that reduces both energy costs and carbon footprint. This contrasts with conventional ways of generating electricity where vast amounts of heat is wasted and further energy losses occur in transporting electricity from remote power stations to customers.

ENER-G designed, built and installed a 1MW CHP system at Loughborough University's Hollywell Park conference centre in 2009. This replaced an existing energy centre, but costs were kept lower by re-using some of the existing infrastructure. The project was financed under ENER-G's Discount Energy Purchase scheme, with no upfront cost to the University and capital expense recovered through purchase of the lower cost energy.

In 2011, ENER-G supplied a 1.6 MWe CHP system for the main campus, providing heat and electricity to the whole of the university site. Keeping an eye on costs and time, ENER-G supplied a containerised unit, rather than building an energy centre, with site installation completed in six weeks.

Greg Watts, energy manager for Loughborough University, said: “The ENER-G CHP systems provide a very good solution for heating and cooling. Since the first ENER-G system was commissioned in February 2009, it has achieved very good reliability with over 90% availability. During the first year of operation there were £150,000 worth of financial savings and 1800 tonnes of carbon dioxide savings which is key to the University’s aims to reduce carbon and environmental impact.”

Alan Barlow, managing director of ENER-G Combined Power Ltd, said: "Loughborough University's leadership in carbon reduction is an example of what can be achieved in creating more sustainable educational facilities. We are proud to have partnered with them in creating this award winning combined heat and power infrastructure.

ENER-G pioneered modern combined heat and power production in 1984 by developing remote monitoring and control systems that made low carbon CHP technology viable on a global industrial and commercial scale. Since then, continuous innovation has ensured that ENER-G remains a European market leader and at the forefront of innovation in this sector.

Now in its fifth year, the CHPA Awards showcase achievement, innovation and best practice from across the sector. CHPA Director, Graham Meeks, said: “These awards demonstrate that green is working, with investment in energy efficiency making real business sense as we pull out of recession. It is very positive to see the extent to which the industry has responded to the present economic difficulties, making investment in CHP systems increasingly affordable and making their operation increasingly flexible.

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