Vaillant, the heating and ventilation specialist, and vehicle manufacturer Honda have introduced a new micro-combined heat and power (mCHP) system for Europe. It is the first European system with highly efficient gas engine technology for use in single-family homes. The mCHP system simultaneously produces environment-friendly heat and electricity and will be available in Germany by mid-year under the product name Vaillant ecoPOWER 1.0.
The highly efficient technology can be used not only in new buildings but also in existing housing. The micro-combined heat and power system can make a significant contribution to decentralised energy supply in Germany where there are approximately 12 million suitable houses.
Decentralised cogeneration produces electricity and heat in the home where it is consumed. This differs from electricity generation in conventional power stations where up to 60% of the energy is wasted due to heat loss. This makes CHP especially efficient – conventional CHP systems achieve efficiency of up to 90%. The Honda mCHP unit, the harmonised system components, and the smart energy management help the ecoPOWER 1.0 systems to deliver an outstanding overall efficiency of 92%.
It will also reduce the C02-balance of the energy supply of smaller properties under ideal usage-conditions by approximately 50% compared to conventional heating systems.
Using Honda’s long experience in the Japanese market, a new mCHP unit produces 1 kW electrical and 2.5 kW thermal output. The electrical efficiency as an indicator of the economical operation of the micro-CHP unit exceeds 26.3%, outperforming all comparable micro-CHP systems in the lower output rang according to Honda and Vaillant. The ecoPOWER 1.0 can supply up to 70% of the electricity needed by an average family house each year.
Aside from a Honda mCHP module and a heat recovery module, the system also consists of a 300-litre multi-function storage cylinder and a wall-hung gas-fired condensing boiler for peak loads and system controls. The output of the peak-load heating appliance is variable and depends on the need for heat of the respective property.