The WhisperGen micro CHP unit is marketed by the UK energy
company, E.ON (formerly Powergen).
It is a four cylinder unit which leads to
smooth, vibration free operation, with noise levels similar to a
domestic freezer. The MkV unit,
incorporating a supplementary burner, was introduced in 2005 to provide additional flexibility,
making the unit suitable for larger homes. This variant also
incorporated an integral acoustic enclosure which made kitchen
Both these models, hand built in New
Zealand, are being superseded by mass produced European units.
Microgen unit, developed by BG Group from a US (Sunpower) design, is a
LFPSE which is intended for wall-mounting; it contains a supplementary
burner which enables it to
meet the full heating requirements for even
Following disposal by BG Group in 2007,
development of the Microgen unit was taken over by MEC, a consortium of
gas boiler companies (Viessmann, Baxi, Vaillant, Remeha) and Sunpower.
Each of the boiler companies is expected to market their own variant of
micro CHP unit incorporating the MEC engine, currently being produced in
Infinia (formerly known as STC) LFPSE is now being used by MTS, Bosch
and Enatec in Europe as well as Rinnai in Japan.
Rinnai will produce the LFPSE module for
integration into micro CHP packages by the other partners for the
European market, with a trial of 1000 units planned for 2008-2010.
Rinnai will also produce a packaged unit for the Japanese market.
Disenco unit is a kinematic design with an electrical output of around
3kWe, significantly higher than the other products. It is based on
a design originating in Lund University and has recently been
substantially redesigned by Ricardo in the USA.
The high electrical output enhances
payback of the unit (which is anticipated to be significantly higher
then the other three products). This does, however, make the unit
susceptible to the recoverable value of exported power from the unit
unless it can achieve high utilisation such as in a small hotel.
East Anglia, East Midlands, NW England -
Initial production runs sold out very
quickly, and all production until 2007 is already committed. Mass
produced units expected to become available again in 2008.