2011-2012 Emerging Technology Award: Micro Combined Heat and Power

Micro combined heat and power (MCHP) is an emerging technology that shows tremendous potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A hybrid technology, MCHP systems enable owners to self-generate a portion of their electricity as a byproduct of heating their home or office. EPA estimates a typical home in a cold climate could reduce CO2 emissions by 20-30% with a MCHP system by offsetting electricity purchased from the grid.

Two MCHP units met the Emerging Technology Award Requirements for micro-CHP (PDF, 66KB) and were recognized by EPA in 2011 and 2012:

ECR International freewatt MCHP System

Freewatt MCHP systemECR International's freewatt MCHP system uses heat generated by a reciprocating Honda engine to produce 12,000 BTU/hr of heat while simultaneously co-generating 1.2kW of electric power for a home or building up to 5,000 kWh per year! On colder days where the heating demand exceeds the initial level of heat generation, the system's high efficiency furnace or boiler kicks in to meet the space heating requirement. The Warm Air system includes a 95% efficient two-stage, variable speed condensing furnace while the hydronic system incorporates a modulating, 95% efficient boiler.

Freewatt system controls also have the ability to connect to the Internet, offering the homeowner the ability to monitor power generation and energy savings, or set their programmable thermostat.

Marathon ecopower™ MCHP System

Marathon ecopower micro combined heat and power systemMarathon's ecopower MCHP system harnesses the heat generated by a reciprocating engine to deliver more than 40,000 BTU/hr of heat while simultaneously co-generating as much as 4.7 kW of electric power to the building. Primarily used in multi-family and small commercial buildings, this unit functions best in applications where hydronic heating systems are used; however, it can be adapted to other heating systems.

Ecopower systems can be multiplexed (i.e., up to three systems connected to one central control unit) to serve larger facilities. Some typical applications include: multi-family buildings; schools; lodges and small hotels; agriculture/green houses; car washes; and sports centers/swimming pools.

Case Study on 2011 ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award Winner  ecopowerTM Micro CHP (PDF, 204KB)

Learn More about the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award