Combined heat and power (CHP) is a technique which can provide both electricity and heat for industrial, commercial and/or residential buildings from a single source. Its implementation can make a significant contribution to reducing the fuel needs of the UK, offering as it does the prospects of overall energy-use efficiencies exceeding 80%. The present investigation deals with the application of small-scale CHP schemes to building services for providing winter heating and summer cooling; the latter being achieved using absorption heat-pumps. The assessments of the economic viabilities of such electricity-exporting schemes, and the predictions of the sizes of the total-energy plants necessary, involve tedious and prolonged numerical exercises. In order to be able to handle this type of problem in a routine and rapid manner, a comprehensive software package (available from the authors) has been compiled for use with a BBC desk-top computer. Building-services engineers can utilize this package to simulate theoretically the behaviours of CHP systems, in order to satisfy various scenarios concerning hourly energy-loading patterns for buildings for any day of the year, before having to make decisions as to whether or not to invest substantial amounts of money in installing a real plant. © 1988.
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