Micro combined heat and power laboratory development

Thomson Varghese



Micro Combined Heat and Power (Micro-CHP) system produces both electricity and heat required for residential or small business applications. Use of Micro-CHP in a residential application not only creates energy and economic savings but also reduces the carbon foot print of the house or small business. Additionally, micro-CHP can subsidize its cost of operation by selling excess electricity produced back to the grid. Even though Micro-CHP remains attractive on paper, high initial cost and optimization issues in residential scale heat and electrical requirement has kept this technology from becoming a success. To understand and overcome all disadvantages posed my Micro-CHP system, a laboratory is developed to test different scenarios of Micro-CHP applications so that we can learn and improve the current technology.

This report focuses on the development of this Micro-CHP laboratory including installation of Ecopower micro-CHP unit, developing fuel line and exhaust line for Ecopower unit, design of electrical and thermal loop, installing all the instrumentation required for data collection on the Ecopower unit and developing controls for heat load simulation using thermal loop. Also a simulation of Micro-CHP running on Syngas is done in Matlab.

This work was supported through the donation of ‘Ecopower’ a Micro-CHP unit by Marathon Engine and through the support of Michigan Tech REF-IF grand.