If you’re looking for an innovative idea that combines the power generation of a whole house generator, heats domestic hot water, and provides space heating, check out the Micro Combined Heat & Power unit from Enginuity. The concept is a simple one, replace the traditional gas fired water heater with a unit that generates hot water, electricity and heating.
How does it work?
Enginuity’s Micro CHP is available in two sizes, the home version about the size of a 30-gallon tank water heater, with a commercial version about the size of a single door refrigerator. The unit is topped by a 500-cc single cylinder engine that produces up to 6.2 kilowatts of power. It uses slightly more natural gas or propane than a traditional water heater to generate electricity, but then directs the excess heat to heat the water in the tank. The micro combined heat & power only needs to run for a few hours each day to provide enough power for the average house. Excess power is directed back to the power company in a grid-tied system similar to what is used for solar panels. In fact, it works well with solar panel arrays, by providing power at times when the sun is not shining or during power outages.
Similar Price Point to Standby Generator
Thinking of adding a standby generator to protect your family during emergency outages? The Enginuity Micro CHP has a similar price point to a backyard generator but uses natural gas more efficiently. And if you’re planning to include renewable energy like solar or wind, the Micro CHP enhances their operation by making your overall energy sources more reliable.
Quiet Energy Source
During a power outage, the sounds of outdoor generators can really make a racket in a neighborhood. Enginuity’s Micro combined heat & power runs efficiently and quietly to store energy, topping it off when supplies are needed.
How Reliable is a Micro CHP?
Their simplified engine is designed to require a single annual service call. The units are designed to last for 40,000 hours, or about 20 years. That’s about the same life cycle as a water heater burner! The engine is easily replaceable from the service provider.