Installing a new energy system such as a distributed power generation (DG) system or a combined heat and power (CHP) system is a major decision for any company. It requires a significant financial investment as well as a time investment. Furthermore, the company will be entrusting its productivity, and perhaps even profitability, to the new system and if it fails to measure up the results can be catastrophic. However, there are no denying the many benefits that these systems can offer to companies that have a certain set of defining characteristics. What follows is a profile of a company that needs a DG & CHP system. For more information about DG & CHP systems themselves please check out our articles titled The Benefits of Distributed Power Generation and What Are Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems?
The Company Is in an Area with Unreliable Energy
One of the most important reasons for a company to consider switching to a DG or CHP system is if that company is operating in an area with unreliable energy. This may be the case if the company has its manufacturing facility in a country that is still being developed or that is subject to political or economic instability. Likewise if the facility is located in a remote location such as a mountainous region or island it may be subject to occasional, or even frequent power interruptions. However, it is not necessary that the facility be in a remote or third-world area to suffer from problems associated with unreliable energy; the facility may simply be located in a fully developed, otherwise stable area, that is prone to occasional weather disasters, severe storms, earthquakes, or other natural phenomena.
Unexpected downtime can quickly derail production schedules and add up to massive financial losses for the company. However, distributed power generation systems solve this problem by generating the power locally at, or very near, the facility where it is needed. Thus it will not matter if the rest of the power grid goes down since the facility will still be able to reliably generate its own power.
The Company Has High Energy Costs
Another clear sign that the company can benefit from DG or CHP systems is if that company has very high energy or heating costs. Once again this could be the case if the company is located or operating in a remote area with limited natural resources that is forced to import all of its energy, or simply if energy prices in the area fluctuate and are prone to rapid rising. Alternatively the company itself may simply have a very high need for energy and heating and thus these costs represent a very large part of its operational expenses. Regardless, high energy costs can quickly erode profits.
DG & CHP systems solve this problem by increasing energy efficiency and lowering costs. DG systems allow companies to get their own fuel and generate their own power, often at much lower costs than they would be paying for traditional power-plant generated energy. Meanwhile CHP systems combine the company’s heating and power resources and allow the company to save money by harnessing heat that would normally be lost in the power creation process.
The Company Has an Eco-Friendly Focus
Companies in sectors that have a strong eco-friendly focus can also substantially benefit from DG & CHP systems. That is because these systems are much more efficient, better utilize resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and are thus much better for the environment. Since DG power is being generated on-site it is not subject to the usual inefficiencies and lost power that results from large-scale energy transmission. Likewise, CHP systems capture and use heat that would normally be wasted, thereby eliminating the need to burn more fuel to generate heat a second time when it is needed.
Companies that have a strong reputation for being eco-friendly can thus benefit by pointing toward their reduced carbon footprint thanks to DG & CHP systems. Similarly companies wishing to generate good will and positive public perception can also benefit. In the contemporary age of increased focus on sustainability and the environment DG & CHP systems are a major boon. Naturally these systems are also beneficial to companies who have fully internalized the eco-friendly cause and are committed to being environmentally responsible, regardless of public perception and positive publicity.
The Company Embraces Cutting Edge Technology
A final type of company that can significantly benefit from adapting a DG & CHP system is one that embraces new technology and has a cutting edge mentality. Though DG & CHP systems have existed for many years, they are particularly prescient as companies and governments throughout the world look for ways to solve their energy problems. Companies that wish to appeal to hip, tech-savvy customers will thus benefit by pointing toward state-of-the-art power and heating systems, while also gaining all of the aforementioned benefits in terms of reliability, cost savings, and environmental responsibility.
At Polaris we are extremely excited about the benefits and capabilities of DG & CHP systems. Our expert process engineers and specialists have the skills and experience necessary to implement these systems in companies of all sizes and across all sectors. We are looking forward to helping more and more of our clients realize the amazing potential and promise of these outstanding technologies.