The recently announced Propane Exceptional Product program offers qualifying construction professionals cash incentives to try two types of cutting-edge propane technologies: premium generator sets and combined heat and power (CHP) systems. But what kinds of projects are appropriate for these systems?

Premium generator sets are designed to back up homes connected to unreliable grid-supplied electricity or to supplement off-grid renewable power generation. Generator sets can be integrated with solar, wind, or other renewable energy sources to create reliable, environmentally friendly hybrid power systems for residential and commercial applications.

Currently, the Generac EcoGen 6kW premium generator set is eligible. As the only installed generator engineered specifically for off-grid use, the EcoGen aims to raise the performance bar for alternative energy power options by improving fuel efficiency and product life and lowering noise. It’s the first generator to be warranted for off-grid applications when used in an alternative energy system.

CHP systems generate a portion of a home or building’s total heating and electricity needs. The systems recover waste heat from the electric generator’s engine and use it for space and water heating, increasing energy efficiency and lowering costs and emissions compared with traditional power generation and heating technologies.

These cogeneration units, as CHP systems are also called, can pay for themselves fairly quickly, whether they’re used in cold climates, where there’s a long heating cycle, or in warm ones, where water heating may be used to extend pool season.

Two combined heat and power (CHP) systems are currently eligible: the Ecopower CHP unit (2.2 kW to 4.7 kW) from Marathon Engine Systems and Yanmar’s CP10WN system (10 kW) [PDF].

Regular readers of the Propane Energy Update will recall our previous coverage of the Generac EcoGen and Marathon Ecopower units:

And, as always, learn more about propane-fueled power generation, off-grid building, and other topics mentioned in this article on our free continuing-education site, the Propane Training Academy.

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