A techno-economic analysis of small-scale, biomass-fuelled combined heat and power for community housing

2013-08-30T13:11:24Z (GMT) by S.R. Wood Paul Rowley
This paper presents the results of a techno-economic study into the feasibility of a number of biomass-fuelled CHP (BCHP) systems when operated in a community housing/mixed use context. Six systems comprising differing technologies have been analysed, with the assumption that the systems operate within an ESCO (energy services company) supply scenario. Actual demand data was obtained for a representative community housing scheme, along with technical performance and cost data on the various biomass CHP systems. Subsequently, an economic modelling tool was developed and a number of operational scenarios were analysed to determine the viability of specific systems and the sensitivity of the results to a range of technical and economic parameters. The impact of thermal storage was also considered in order to optimise heat usage as far as possible. The results indicate that within specific realistic ESCO operating scenarios, biomass CHP can demonstrate positive net present values without the need for capital subsidies. Optimal system design and implementation is critical for profitable operation and it is found that the best economic performance occurs for high load factors when the maximum quantity of both electricity and heat sold on-site is maximised. The results are also found to be very sensitive to a number of the model inputs.