Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Micro CHP Proposal for Residential Buildings (ST10369-1)

Gas Technology Institute


New York State’s residential and commercial housing sector could use micro-Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to overcome current electrical load constraints. This technology is available in Japan via a manufacturer of micro-grid CHP units, but has limited exposure in the U.S. By incorporating micro-CHP into new developments, New York could strategically manage load growth and infrastructure improvements, as well as develop physical reliability critical to energy assurance planning and preparedness. Perceptions still exist that energy efficiency and load reduction can create utility disincentives, however, this study will seek to dispel those perceptions.

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Project Description

The use of multiple micro-CHP systems in a micro-grid configuration has the potential to be more efficient and reliable than a single CHP system approach. This project will document the economic and energy related values of the micro-grid approach, using a currently existing and functional micro-CHP system manufactured by Yanmar Energy Systems. The project will also document the economic values associated with managing load growth in a constrained area, such is the project site of this study in Midtown Manhattan.


Using actual Con Ed customers’ usage data, projections of potential micro-grid deployment locations will be made available to Con Ed. Project could promote managed growth and promote sound regional planning. Siting of ex-urban developments, i.e. retirement communities, land trusts could be informed and planned. Micro-CHP systems are most cost effective, when operated full time during weekdays and shut down on weekends, for low rise multi-family residential buildings. With 5 – 7 year payback durations, high volume micro-CHP systems deployed to multi-family residential buildings can reduce building grid demands during peak by 60 – 90%, and reduce the building’s carbon footprint by 5%. The primary market for micro-CHP technology is in buildings with a high thermal demand, and the secondary market is buildings with cooling such as desiccant systems or absorption chillers.

Project Results

The Contractor (Gas Technology Institute), combined with a micro-CHP manufacturer (Yanmar America Corp.), developed an optimal configuration and operation scenario for using micro-CHP machines within specific building prototypes. They modeled several building prototypes, including whether or not commercial space was on the ground floor of the building. GTI also provided four (4) independent recommendations at policy level, which would help stimulate the micro-CHP market for multifamily residential buildings. • High volume micro-CHP systems deployed to multi-family residential buildings can reduce building grid demands during peak by 60 – 90%. • Source energy requirements for multi-family residential buildings can be reduced 16- 18% using micro-CHP systems. Source energy, as opposed to site energy, represents the total amount of raw fuel that is required to operate a building. • High volume micro-CHP configurations can maintain better than 65% fuel to heat and power conversion ratios in multi-family residential buildings, attributed to their fine load following capability. • From a utility perspective, high-volume micro-CHP for new multi-family residential buildings reduces potential revenue from new electricity sales, but increases potential revenue from new gas sales, and decoupling mechanisms with better financial incentives.


Gas Technology Institute
39971 Treasury Center
Chicago, IL 60694

Principle Investigator

Dave Kalinsky

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Energy Power Supply
Micro CHP

NYSERDA Contact Information

Gregory Pedrick


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10369-1

Last Updated: 1/10/2014