Residential building owners in Canada are becoming increasingly interested in the prospects provided by combined heat and power systems for their premises.
Rising energy costs and grid limitations have prompted that interest according to Canadian Apartment magazine.
According to Mike Mulqueen, Lead – CDM Business Development, Multi-Residential Sector at Toronto Hydro, CHP is emerging as a viable option.
“We’ve been seeing a lot more interest in CHP lately,” he says, noting a recent meeting with a consultant who has completed over 300 assessments for interested multi-residential customers across southern Ontario. “Advancements in technology have made cogeneration more accessible for most properties. There are now small-scale solutions that can follow the thermal loads, meaning even buildings with as few as 50 suites could be suitable for a CHP system.”
At the moment seven per cent of electricity is produced using cogeneration. But implementation continues to expand.
“During emergency situations when grid power is not available, a CHP system can operate as an electrical island to power essential requirements, like elevators, lighting, heating, ventilation, and hot and cold water distribution equipment.”
Paul Ruth, president of DBS, a certified HVAC mechanical contractor and cogeneration supplier, told the news site, “It’s still early days and the data is limited, but we know that systems can offer up to 90 per cent energy efficiency. And now with incentives available to offset the cost of installment, it’s a solution many residential building owners will be seriously looking at.”
One notable entity embracing CHP technology is Skyline Group of Companies, based in Guelph, Ontario. Since 2015, Skyline has been working closely with DBS to install micro CHP systems in a handful of its residential buildings—but the commitment won’t end there. With approximately 200 sites currently undergoing assessment, Skyline is primed to be an industry leader using cogeneration technology to reduce both its energy usage, and its carbon footprint.
“Skyline has assembled a team of about 12 specialists to determine the most effective way to incorporate CHP technology at our properties,” says Roy Jason Ashdown, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Skyline Group of Companies. “To date we have completed dozens of studies and the list of suitable sites continues to grow. We have installed several systems in St. Catharines and the real time data is being measured and verified by our engineers. The initial numbers look very promising.”
“The plan is to specialize and stick-handle all of the elements of CHP so that it becomes more than just an idea, but a reality for those in the multi-residential industry,” says Ashdown. “Being active landlords for over 25 years, we believe we have a keen understanding of what landlords want and what landlords need, and how to effectively deliver it to them.”
Currently, incentives are available for funding of up to 100 per cent of the engineering studies to enable a CHP project.