Technical Assistance

The process for developing a combined heat and power (CHP) system project typically follows the four steps outlined below. Because an in-depth feasibility analysis for a CHP system requires a major effort and can be costly, it makes sense to utilize a less comprehensive analysis to identify projects that are unlikely to be economic.

The four project development steps and how the CHP Technical Assistance Partnership can help you through those steps:

1. Screening and Preliminary Analysis
Quick screening questions and a simple spreadsheet to provide a preliminary payback calculation helps you determine if further analysis of a CHP system is warranted.

What the CHP TAP can do for you: CHP TAP staff will conduct the preliminary payback analysis for you free of charge. Contact the CHP TAP serving your state to get started.

2. Feasibility Analysis
A feasibility analysis helps you determine if CHP is a viable option not only technically (i.e., if it will work) but also financially (i.e., if it is worth the investment). It utilizes a detailed engineering and financial model or spreadsheet.

What the CHP TAP can do for you: The CHP TAP will provide a third party review of a feasibility analysis conducted for your site. CHP TAP staff will ensure that the analysis—including savings estimates, installation costs, simple payback, and equipment sizing and type—is done properly.

3. Investment Grade Analysis
At this point, based on a favorable feasibility analysis, your facility has decided to move forward on a CHP system. A design engineering firm will develop detailed system plans and specifications that can be used to issue a request for proposals (RFP).

What the CHP TAP can do for you: The CHP TAP will provide a third party review of the engineering analysis, including equipment sizing and choices.

4. Procurement, Operations, Maintenance, and Commissioning
Installing a CHP system is a complex task that requires skill and knowledge in a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, construction, plumbing, wiring, and environmental compliance. For this reason, it is wise to partner with a contractor or project developer who has experience with CHP systems.

What the CHP TAP can do for you: The CHP TAP will help you in this process as needed, such as review of system specifications and bids.