Paper examines small-scale, pellet-fueled CHP potential in US

By Anna Simet | March 21, 2017

Small-scale, pellet-fueled combined-heat-and-power (CHP) has the potential to become a major part of the distributed generation smart grid of the future, according to a new paper by FutureMetrics.

Currently being tested at Maine Energy Systems’ product assembly building in Bethel, Maine, the new micro-CHP system was developed by OkoFEN2 in Upper Austria. The units have been undergoing years of R&D and field testing, and are currently being deployed in Europe.

In addition to 60 kilowatts (kW) of heat, or 205,000 Btu per hour, the pellet-fueled micro-CHP generates up to 5 kW of electricity.

To illustrate the benefits of producing both heat and power, using an easy-to-understand metrics, FutureMetrics has made available a dashboard that shows the cost to charge an electric vehicle using the electricity produced by the pellet-fueled micro-CHP system.

The paper goes into detail about how large-scale deployment of the system could benefit homes or businesses that use heating oil or propane, or that aren’t connected to natural gas infrastructure—especially in Maine—while driving domestic demand for local wood fiber and wood pellets.

The new systems, expected to be full approved for sale in the U.S. within the next several months, will be assembled in Maine and sold under the MESys brands.