December 16, 2015, by sustainablenottingham

£1.35 million project to deliver 1,150 tonnes of carbon due to go live

Carbon Reduction Manager, Martin Oakes, talks about the latest carbon reduction project that will deliver significant carbon savings.

The main boiler house at Sutton Bonington which used to house a waste incinerator now houses two combined heat and power (CHP) units which will produce heat and electricity for use at the campus. This £1.35m project will deliver around 40% of the site’s electrical and heating demand and is due to go live in early January. CHP is the simultaneous production of heat and electricity from a single fuel source – in this case natural gas.

CHPIt’s effectively a small power station but unlike the national grid where the heat is not recovered, we use the heat for our buildings. This enables large overall cost savings compared to the separate purchase of gas and electricity.

The scheme consists of two reciprocating engines designed to operate on natural gas which drive generators and can produce around 800kW of electricity while the engines produces around 970kW of heat to be used directly in our district heating system. Having two engines allows us to modulate the output and so follow the campus load profiles more closely which maximises fuel costs and carbon savings. The CHP units are estimated to reduce annual energy bills by £260,000 and carbon emissions by 1,150 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

To improve the resilience of the heating network we have replaced sections of the pipework adjacent to south lab and the willows etc. Some of this pipework was showing severe signs of corrosion and as it served critical areas it’s replacement was considered necessary. The main circulation pumps have also been replaced to improve efficiency and reliability of the system together with inverter speed control to further optimise operating efficiency.

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