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ICC Belfast's combined heat and power (CHP) unit

Posted 26th Jun, 2019

Laura Duffy

Laura Duffy Sales and Marketing Assistant

We believe in the importance of our environmental impact and are continually seeking ways to improve our green credentials from recycling and reducing our printed materials, to reusable energy, more specifically through our CHP Unit. CHP stands for ‘combined heat and power’, essentially the CHP unit is a lower carbon technology that uses waste heat in the building to reduce the CO2 emissions.

Why do we have a CHP unit?

The unique feature of the CHP is to capture the heat that would normally be wasted in electricity generation whilst supplying both to the building. The CHP Unit was installed into ICC Belfast in 2004 through an ESCo (Energy Services Contract) and is available on a permanent basis. If it requires maintenance, the issue is resolved relatively quickly, resulting in an extremely reliable and a steady source of heat.

FACT: In 2018, all the world's nations combined pumped almost 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

John Griffin, Facilities Manager at ICC Belfast, said:

The CHP unit uses a conventional engine that runs on a single fuel. It supplies heating and electrical power to our entire ICC site; the CHP recovers heat that would otherwise go to atmosphere. The great thing about the CHP unit is that the waste heat is connected to our venue’s radiators so not only is the CHP unit environmentally friendly, it is inexpensive.

The below diagram outlines the power generation coming from large power plants, only 38% of primary energy is turned into usable electricity, the other 62% are unused and released into the atmosphere. Whereas the power generation with CHP only loses 13% into the atmosphere and increases the use of energy for heat and electricity and therefore overall efficiency.

In the future, our power grid will not be made with a few large power plants, but with many small, decentralized combined heat and power systems. As a venue, we continue to assess our facilities and seek ways to improve our venue’s sustainability, we are always happy to discuss ways of doing so with our clients.

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