The U.S. electric infrastructure is very inefficient. Only about one third of the original fuel provided to generate electricity is actually converted to electricity and made available for consumption by the end user. The rest is exhausted in the form of heat into the environment.
MCCHP offers formidable benefits to homeowners, businesses, utilities and society in general through improved environmental impact, energy efficiency, energy reliability and economic growth. Despite numerous improvements through increasingly efficient appliances and tighter building envelopes, energy consumption continues to rise. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over the past three decades, the share of residential electricity used by appliances and electronics in U.S. homes has nearly doubled from 17 percent to 31 percent. This rise has occurred while Federal energy efficiency standards were enacted on every major appliance so that overall household energy consumption actually decreased with energy use per household falling 31 percent.
The following points highlighting the potential advantages that MCCHP has for improving home and business energy efficiency while reducing the cost of energy usage.
• Responding to Larger Home Construction: Part of the increase in energy consumption is due to the size of new homes being built, which are larger than older homes. Space heating expenditures have increased 75%, air conditioning 140%, water heating 184%, and appliances 210%.
• Distributed Power Production Attractive: MCCHP units simultaneously produce heat and power for residences and small businesses. The heat can be used to meet a household's space and water heating needs and provide cooling as well. Power generated can be used for lighting, consumer electronics or any other electrical needs. More that 38% of high income households are interested in generating their own electricity
• Cost Effective: MCCHP appliances will enable buyers to achieve a 5 to 7 year payback on their investment.
• Flexible: MCCHP appliances are able to respond to a buildings changing seasonal and day-to-day energy requirements.
• Reliable: There is a significant demand for reliable energy even during electrical power outages. MCCHP can be used for either primary or back-up power requirements.
• Efficient: Local power generation enables as much as 85% of fuel energy to be converted to useful electricity and thermal energy.
• Controlled Emissions: New MCCHP appliances meet all regulatory emission requirements and have a net positive environmental impact than would otherwise be caused by generating an equivalent energy output from centralized power generation utilities.
• New and Retrofit Applications: Installation is not limited to newly constructed homes but can be retrofitted to replace traditional appliances in existing households.
• Prime Power: Many vacation homes and rural residences require prime power solutions, which the electrical grid cannot meet. Power appliances such as MCCHP give the prime power user the flexibility and assurance to generate their own on-site energy needs with less dependence on the current fuel and electric infrastructure.
• Cooling: Cooling capabilities broaden the current market of MCCHP applications and can revolutionize the residential cooling industry. Heat, generated of recycled, can drive a thermally activated cooling process.
• Controls: Integrated controls and sensors optimize the MCCHP system's performance. A home can communicate with the appliance and enable it to produce the optimum combination of heat, cooling and power. Control devices prioritize the loads, defer discretionary loads, and communicate with the grid to decide whether to buy or sell electricity at certain times.