5 Benefits of Having a CHP Unit in Your Factory

By Clare Burns

CHP units are perfectly suited to the demands of the food and drink manufacturing industry. Here are 5 of the biggest benefits CHP can bring to your plant.

The food and drink manufacturing industry is the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK. Its value is predicted to pass £113bn by 2019, and exports have already exceeded £20bn.

It’s an energy intensive industry, which means manufacturers are finding themselves struggling with rising energy costs. 

The good news is that the food and drink manufacturing industry has a perfect match in CHP.

CHP stands for Combined Heat and Power, also known as cogeneration. Combined Heat and Power generates electricity while capturing the usable heat that is produced in this process.

Obviously this has a lot of benefits - and some of the figures are quite impressive.

A CHP unit can achieve an overall efficiency of up to 80% - to put that into perspective, the efficiency of a coal-fired plant is something more like 40% - and that means that organisations using CHP can not only cut their carbon emissions, but they can also save as much as 40% on their energy bills. For example, after installing two CHP units at their production plant, one confectionery manufacturer is saving £200,000 a year.

CHP suits this industry perfectly because it provides an efficient way to heat and chill. The heat produced by the unit can heat water used in factory processes and provide an opportunity for de-steaming. Used in conjunction with an absorption chiller, a CHP unit can provide cooling for plants with cooling or refrigeration demands. This is called Trigeneration, or Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP).

By replacing time expired equipment with new efficient systems, implementing CHP is also a great way for food and drink manufacturers to reduce maintenance costs and eliminate any maintenance backlog. A good CHP provider will have a highly trained team of engineers who will cover the unit’s maintenance, meaning you can focus your maintenance efforts elsewhere while your supply remains uninterrupted.

So, there are five good reasons why CHP is a great fit for the food and drink manufacturing industry. CHP can:

  1. cut carbon emissions significantly
  2. save you up to 40% on your energy bills.
  3. offer an efficient way to heat water without burning more fuel,
  4. produce energy to meet your plant’s cooling and chilling demands.
  5. reduce maintenance associated with your plant, freeing up your maintenance resource and budget.