American Honda Motor Company, Inc. introduced its all-new Micro-sized Combined Heat and Power (MCHP) Deluxe cogeneration unit last week at the US Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Honda MCHP, introduced in Japan in 2003 and in the US in 2007, is a heat transfer and power generation device that provides home heating or water heating as well as electrical power for a variety of home applications. (Earlier post.)
The new Honda MCHP Deluxe system features advanced energy management technologies for home heating and power combined with a new automatic back-up power feature (a residential stand-by generator) that can provide back-up electricity in the event of a power failure.
The ultra-quiet MCHP Deluxe unit produces 3.26 kW of heat and a maximum of 1.8 kW of electric power, an improvement over Honda’s Standard MCHP system that produces a maximum of 1.2 kW of power.
When the Honda MCHP Deluxe module is paired with a furnace system such as the ECR International freewatt, the total system provides heat for the home with the added benefit of electricity production. ECR is a full-service provider of American engineered-and-manufactured hydronic and forced air products.
The freewatt system produces electric power as a byproduct of its heating function. In the freewatt application, the Honda MCHP module has provided as much as 75% of a home’s heating demand plus enough electricity to power lights, small appliances and security systems. The electric power produced by the system displaces electricity that consumers would otherwise purchase from the local electric utilities, helping homeowners save $500 to $1,000 per year on their electric bills.
In states where a net metering policy is legislated, homeowners can sell unused electric power generated by the MCHP to the public utilities in their communities, providing savings on electricity costs.
The new Honda MCHP Deluxe system incorporates a battery-back up system that includes a long-life, five-year NiMH battery for dependable starts in back-up power mode during utility power outages. The MCHP system also includes a Honda residential stand-by generator that provides back-up electricity in the event of a power failure. The generator:
Operates on natural gas or propane;
Features a DC/DC converter that detects utility power outages and provides maximum power output of 1.8 kilowatts in back up and boost modes; and
Incorporates sensor technology to enhance engine performance.
In relation to energy costs, test data has shown that when a Honda MCHP system is paired with a product such as ECR’s freewatt to replace a typical 80% efficiency home heating system, homeowners can realize an average of 30% in energy cost savings.
In addition, the system produces 30% less carbon dioxide to produce a given amount of heat and electricity than a conventional heating system with electricity provided from the local utility company. This allows homeowners to take an active role in the effort to reduce greenhouse gases.
The basic MCHP operation is based on early large, expensive Combined Heat & Power (CHP) technology systems designed for commercial and industrial applications. In the MCHP and MCHP Deluxe, Honda has scaled down the original footprint and refined the technology for smaller applications such as single-family residences.
The Honda MCHP Deluxe units will be sold in the United States only and will be marketed via Honda’s Power Equipment Division in Alpharetta, Georgia. More than 60,000 MCHP units have been sold globally since its introduction in 2003.