Tesco Stores, Nationwide

Project: Tesco Stores, Nationwide

Tesco ensures ‘every little helps’ by working with ENER-G  to downsize its combined heat and power  technology

Tesco has inspired innovation in low carbon performance by working with sustainable energy group ENER-G to achieve a step change in combined heat and power (CHP) technology.

 As part of its new store programme, the retailer was seeking a smaller footprint system that offered the same energy cost and carbon savings as larger CHP technologies, but was faster to install and commission and reduced the environmental impact of manufacture.

ENER-G worked with Tesco to develop the smallest, lightest and quietest external fully packaged combined heat and power (CHP) product range available globally.

The power and performance of traditional large containerised CHP systems has been packed into an aesthetically appealing weatherproof enclosure that is approximately 40% smaller, 3.5 tonnes lighter and 5dBA quieter.

Combined heat and power is a cornerstone of sustainable energy performance at Tesco’s new stores and rigorous monitoring has demonstrated impressive cost and carbon reduction.

The company has introduced the petite new ENER-G Universal CHP system to 27 UK  stores so far.

“We constantly strive to reduce our carbon footprint and the new Universal CHP system is key to that goal”, said Dean Pearmain, Group Buying Manager (Renewable Energy Initiatives - Corporate Purchasing) Tesco Stores Ltd. “We are very proud to have inspired this UK innovation that helps us save valuable space and looks attractive. It comes fully packaged for fast installation and connection to our utilities, which is a major advantage when you have  tight store opening deadlines to meet.”


Alan Barlow, Managing Director of ENER-G Combined Power, said: “Our in-house team worked with Tesco to bring this new product to market in less than six months. The Universal unit marks a major advance in delivery of CHP – providing a solution hitherto unavailable for sites with space constraints and in densely populated urban areas, where low noise is critical and design sensitivities are paramount. Due to its smaller size and lower weight, the unit is easier and less costly to transport, which has major advantages as a product for the export market. We are very proud to be a UK manufacturer which has also been advantageous in providing us with the specialist in-house design and production resources to continuously innovate.”

ENER-G succeeded in preserving the 90% efficiency and impressive carbon savings of its containerised CHP systems while reducing the environmental impact of manufacture through the using fewer raw materials. This has a knock-on effect throughout the product lifecycle.

The production process has also been streamlined, which has reduced lead times in delivering product to customer, as well as saving more energy and cost in the production process.

The complete outdoor packages are available in five compact sizes (90kW, 100kW, 110kW, 120kW and 125kW). 

The ENER-G New Product Development, technical, engineering and production teams worked collaboratively at the company’s Manchester headquarters to design, develop, test, validate and introduce to market the new Universal Unit.

The challenge was to squeeze all the performance of a traditional fully packaged CHP system into a much smaller space, incorporating features such as an exhaust silencer and heat rejection radiator. This involved creating an enclosure with the sleek and attractive look of an internal unit, yet robust enough to withstand outside conditions. There was an additional acoustic engineering challenge to exceed the low noise performance of ENER-G’s existing containerised units.

The innovative development process will continue, with ENER-G working to develop higher capacity universal units and introduce other refinements, such as improved noise performance. 

The new Universal units are available under ENER-G’s Discount Energy Purchase  scheme, where there is no purchase, installation or operational cost to the customer, with payment recovered through purchase of the generated heat and electricity at a guaranteed discounted rate.

ENER-G pioneered modern combined heat and power production in 1984 by developing remote monitoring and control systems that made low carbon CHP technology viable on a global industrial and commercial scale. Since then, continuous innovation has ensured that ENER-G remains a European market leader and at the forefront of innovation in this sector.  

The company offers the broadest combined heat and power product range (4kW to 10MW) in the UK market  and has accumulated  more than 30 million hours of operating experience across 1,400 installed cogeneration systems – powered by natural gas, biogas, diesel, propane or biodiesel.