A milestone in the GIZ project to foster CHP technologies in Chile was reached as the first cohort of professionals attended lectures and visited German facilities to learn more about these underutilised thermal fuels
In Chile, more than 65% of electricity is derived from fossil fuels, especially imported coal. The necessary heat production in industry and public buildings is delivered by gas and electric boilers, diesel and wood. With demand increasing all the time, this creates excessive amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. With the right technologies – such as combined heat and power (CHP) plants – the heat by-product of power generation can be reused to heat buildings for example.
Although the Chilean government has prioritised energy efficiency and support for CHP usage, efficient cogeneration is rarely used in the South American country. But the GIZ project to reduce emissions by promoting CHP plants in industry and commerce aims to change all that.
According to a preliminary analysis of potential carried out by the Chilean Agency for Energy Efficiency (AChEE), the introduction of CHP plants in industry could potentially generate 18 million megawatt hours of energy per year (electricity and heat) and make annual savings of 4.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
As part of GIZ’s efforts, NIRAS-IP Consult organised a two-week training earlier this month for seven university professionals to transmit broad knowledge – from the technical basics of feasibility calculations, to the construction, operation and maintenance of plants as well as operator models. The training included lectures, practical workshops and excursions to various German CHP plants.
NIRAS-IP Consult has been supporting GIZ on the project since June 2018. By promoting the technology and understanding of how it works, the goal is to increase uptake of the use of small and medium-sized CHP plants among Chilean businesses.
In addition to attending lectures, participants also had the chance to conduct their own calculations of the impact CHP can have using examples from real plants in interactive workshops. Also, there were three separate excursions to German companies employing CHP technologies, including Groschopp, a developer and manufacturer of motors and drive components for machine and plant construction; the CHP plants of the Cologne-Bonn and Düsseldorf airports; Jäckering Mühlen, where a CHP supplies energy as well as heat for a mill; Ahrtalwerke, a regional energy supplier in the Rhineland; and a CHP plant in Hövelhof, where a CHP plant is connected to a furniture factory and wood residues are burned in order to obtain heat as well as energy.
In addition to designing and implementing training to promote the uptake of CHP technologies, NIRAS-IP Consult will advise political and other stakeholders on options for CHP generation, review the technical design of planned CHP projects, and optimise operation strategies to improve their economic feasibility.