How small businesses can save money with trigeneration

Managing expenses is a challenge for medium to large businesses, especially when some costs are variable. In these cases, it can be difficult to allocate finances effectively as prices begin to fluctuate. 

It can be difficult to pin down the cost of electricity.

This is especially true with energy expenditure. Seasonal demands, coupled with changing customer traffic, can make it almost impossible to pin down just how much a business is likely to spend on electricity over a given timeframe. 

Businesses looking to achieve power security and gain a sense of certainty around their energy spend should consider how trigeneration can benefit their operations. The process is one of the many benefits of installing a microturbine, along with cost savings and reduced carbon emissions. 

What is trigeneration?

Trigeneration is the process of simultaneously generating electricity and thermal (or heat) energy by using the waste heat from a microturbine's operation to fulfil a building's heating and cooling requirements. The main benefit here is that it eliminates the amount of grid or generator electricity that has to be spent on heating or cooling.

The waste heat that is gathered from microturbines can be used in a number of applications. Businesses can choose to use the energy for regular heating or supplying hot water. 

It's also possible to use this energy for cooling, greatly reducing an organisation's dependence on other electricity sources. With summer underway, it's the perfect time to consider how a business can take a more cost-effective approach to managing temperatures. 

In this instance, waste heat is utilised in an absorption chiller, reducing or replacing electricity that would have been otherwise needed for air-conditioning.

How can you keep an office cool over summer without spending extra?How can you keep an office cool over summer without spending extra?

How does trigeneration improve energy efficiency? 

While business energy costs fluctuate depending on the sector they operate in, there are still electricity concerns common to any business. According to the South Australian government, heating and cooling requirements dominate energy bills, and provide the biggest opportunity for cost saving. 

The state government found that up to 28 per cent of power bills in South Australia can be attributed to general heating and cooling, with water heating responsible for another 25 per cent. With trigeneration providing a low-cost solution to heating and cooling, businesses can notably reduce their reliance on grid electricity while still regulating the climate of their premises. 

According to The Clean Energy Council, cogeneration, which operates on the same principles as trigeneration but without the cooling functionality, can be as much as 80 per cent more efficient than other options. With trigeneration further expanding this functionality, businesses can expect to greatly reduce their dependence on grid electricity.

To find out more about how a business can be more energy efficient with microturbines, contact the team at Optimal Group.