TOTEM engine for Combined Heat and Power (CHP).

What is a Micro CHP engine? And How Does CHP work?

Onsite cogeneration of electricity with heat reclaim by Combined Heat and Power, or CHP units, is one of the most effective ways of reducing costs by simultaneously powering and heating a building from a single gas-powered engine.

As gas supply remains on a par with or slightly cheaper than grid-supplied electricity, and because Combined Heat and Power units secure ‘free / waste heat’ as part of that power generation process less gas overall is required for the heating of the building. So there are two opportunities to reduce operational costs.

The micro-CHP form factor that we deploy in the TOTEM series of CHP units was originally conceived and brought to market in the late 1970s. Subsequently, the design has evolved and improved, incorporating the latest engineering practices and expertise from the automotive industry to ensure the design is optimised to meet the real-world needs of a building project.

The TOTEM m-CHP internal combustion engine is a product of the automotive expertise of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA). The continuous development over 50 years, gives the current gas-driven 1.4L Fiat Fire engine an astounding reliability rate of 99.6% over 100,000 units per year.

The Engine Control Unit (ECU), high-efficiency catalytic converter and fine-tuning for the engine’s stationary parameters is provided by Magneti Marelli, a name which will be familiar to fans of Formula One racing. It is the ECU and catalytic converter that which deliver TOTEM’s ultra-low NOₓ and CO emissions. This is particularly important for urban building projects where NOₓ (a combination of NO and NO2) is seen increasingly as a major factor in air pollution which can be extremely harmful to people. As Combined Heat and Power localises energy production, it is critical that the use of the technology addresses and significantly reduces NOₓ generation. NOₓ emissions from a TOTEM unit are less than 40 mg/kWh of electricity output, but once you take the heat output into account, which is considered a waste product, TOTEM becomes effectively NOₓ free.

TOTEM achieves ultra-low emissions rates –  that are less than 10% of most micro-cogeneration units available on the market –  through the close manufacturing relationships, of Fiat, Magneti Marelli, Asja and Adveco which has driven the adoption of micro-CHP in the UK through unique technology and service support. For this work, Adveco has been recently awarded a Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Leadership Award for developing commercial micro-CHP in Europe.

TOTEM stands out with its complete, highly compact system in a box configuration, a design-driven by the decision to directly couple the engine to the generator, which is capable of delivering electrical outputs from 10 to 50 kW, and then closely integrate the other components, especially the condensing heat exchangers.

A building’s central heating water is heated directly in two stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers and a water to water stainless steel plate heat exchanger transferring heat from the engine coolant (used to cool the engine, oil, and generator water jacket) and from the first stage exhaust. By reclaiming heat from every available source, TOTEM micro CHP units achieve a thermal efficiency of 65% or higher depending on the return water temperature. The TOTEM will condensate when the return water temperature is less than 50°C without the need for an additional flue heat exchanger.

Based on today’s fuel costs electricity output from the co-generator will be at a similar cost to electricity from the grid, however for each kWh of electricity generated approximately 2.5 kWh of free, high-grade heat will be recovered. With ultra-low emissions, micro CHP offers a real option, especially when combined in an application that blends renewables to provide a cost-effective and future-proof method for providing the power and heating needs for commercial projects.

Adveco. Commercial Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP).Discuss your next project with Adveco whether it’s a hydrogen-ready CHP or commercial Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP).

Call Adveco today on 01252 551 540

Design & Build heating systems from Adveco

Specialist Support for Design & Build Projects…

Traditionally building contracts will see a client appoint consultants to undertake the design and then a contractor to deliver construction. More recently, a popular method of procurement has been to opt for a single contractor to be appointed to design, or complete the design, and then to construct the works.

Under such design and build, or D&B contracts, the client will typically have its own design team scope requirements, with responsibility for the detailed design falling to the contractor, ensuring single-point liability for the design and its delivery. Despite some early misgivings, relationships between design-and-build contractors and their consultants are typically harmonious, as both parties work towards delivering a successful project. Under JCT81, the contractor’s task is “to complete the design for the works”. Even if the detailed design is subbed to specialist design consultants, the substantial task of coordinating the various design elements almost always resides with the contractor.

Unsurprisingly it is popular from the client side as it simplifies projects to have a single point of responsibility once the contract is awarded. In addition, it opens opportunities to engage with not only the contractor and design team earlier in the design process but also the supply chain, which offers the opportunity to substantially improve the project, whilst also allowing for overlap of design and construction reducing the overall project delivery time.

Traditional method v design and build method.

As an application and system design and supply specialist, Adveco is uniquely placed to support D&B contractors if brought on early in the design process. Project contracts – which include JCT81, ICE Design and Construct, NEC Design and Build and GC/Works/1 Single Stage Design and Build – have or can be adapted to incorporate design and build variants, which means having the option to integrate bespoke commercial heating, hot water and low carbon energy selections into a design early in the process is truly advantageous.

Taking on responsibility for the design and construction for a pre-agreed price means the contractor also takes on much of the financial risk. It is understandable then that in order to make cost savings, the contractor may at times feel corralled into decisions that could impact on desired quality. But by working with an independent provider, such as Adveco, there is a far broader range of options when it comes to defining the actual needs of a particular project.

Just as with the client, if the contractor can secure a single source for expert hot water & heating design and supply, then it simplifies the process considerably. When brought on early in the project it allows for more accurate sizing, which reduces both the capital expenditure of the project and long-term operational costs of the system. This helps to avoid the need for exploiting specifications that can be open to interpretation and compromising on the build. With a broad choice of the most cost-effective and future-proof low/zero-emission systems that typically exceed the latest round of building regulations, it becomes possible to bring added value to the building for the client.

It also provides the option to better define systems that can leverage the advantages of off-site construction, for higher quality build and rapid site installation with prefabricated packaged plant rooms. That is crucial since we recognise the scope for a contractor to obtain an extension of time for a project is usually severely curtailed. Adveco rounds out the installation phase, providing experienced engineers to commission all appliances prior to project handover to the customer. Working with Adveco can also provide continuity of service as we continue to provide manufacturer levels of warranty service and maintenance for up to ten years on certain appliances.

Discover more about how we can help to de-risk your project with Adveco’s application design services, explore our range of high-quality products, or contact us now to discuss your design and build project needs.

Adveco packaged plant room.

Packaged Plant Rooms – A New Paradigm for Site Safety

Adveco discusses how off-site construction techniques for commercial heating and hot water can alleviate pressures of cost and timescale on construction sites whilst also helping improve Covid-19 safety precautions… There is no doubt that we are going to face long term changes in the way construction projects operate during and in the wake of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Worksites are already having to adhere to stricter policy on where and when workers can traverse and engage on-site, and, in accordance with Government recommendations, the responsibility for their safety lies squarely on the shoulders of the host – not only for incumbent staff but also for any visiting contractors or customers. Ultimately this is all to ensure anyone on site does not become compromised. This means further stretching the usually difficult, and therefore costly, co-ordination of equipment and controls installations required for a building. Such complexity is typical, for instance, when creating and installing modern heating and commercial hot water applications.

New world, new approach

Adopting offsite pre-fabrication as part of your project is therefore highly advantageous, reducing time on site required of specialist contractors, which is both more cost-effective and safer for all involved. Adveco combines deep engineering understanding with a wide prod­uct offering and experience in full system design to provide a single source of supply for the delivery of complete packaged plant rooms containing heating and hot water systems tailored precisely to fit the specific needs of a project. All work is carried out in a controlled, purpose-made environment. This means should there be any forced downtime on-site due to a local lockdown, the assembly work at Adveco will continue as planned. With no distractions from other typical construction site activities or issue we can ensure your plant room work is more rapidly progressed and, with a controlled factory environment, optimal manufacturing conditions are provided for quality control. Unlike the general conditions found on a construction site. Locating all production work offsite also means the plant room element of a project can also efficiently progress at the same time as other groundworks or site installations. As the plant room arrives with all appliances, controls and ancillaries pre-fitted and connected – using stainless steel (heating) or copper (DHW) crimp pipework – as standard, there is no need for extended plumbing and electrical installation. This helps drastically reduce on-site labour demands and allows for more rapid progression of project timescales, despite social distancing requirements. To achieve the best results, you will need to finalise facets of decision-making relating to hot water, heating or cogeneration of power early on in the project to allow for increased lead-in times. Once production commences it becomes more difficult to accommodate changes to a bespoke pre-fabricated system. This is why Adveco’s expert design engineers will work closely from the start with your project team to accurately size and design a system that meets the exact needs of the project on day of delivery.  All that is required is for flues, external pipework and final electrical connections to be completed on-site. Adveco has broad experience of developing small to very large packaged plant rooms, embracing a wide range of cost-effective to operate and renewable technologies, from high-efficiency gas and electric boilers and water heaters to heat recovery units, micro CHP, solar thermal and Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs). These are all brought together to deliver a wide range of bespoke applications that can transform the operational nature of a commercial property, reducing emissions and improving the efficiency of hot water and heating for lower ongoing costs. The fact that these systems can also be delivered in a manner that is also much safer for all involved on-site shows the tremendous advantages to be gained from this approach. Discover more about Adveco’s Packaged Plant Rooms
Adveco commercial hot water.Adveco are experts in hot water systems for commercial projects, including schools, hospitality and the retail sectors. For all your pre-fabricated packaged plant room projects, call the team on 01252 551 540 or complete the contact form.