Last edited 09 Nov 2016

Gross calorific value

The term ‘calorific value’ (CV) is a measure of heating power, and refers to the amount of energy released when a fuel is completely combusted under specific conditions. For solid and liquid fuels this is measured at constant volume and for gaseous fuels it is measured at constant pressure.

Calorific vales for a range of fuels are published by the UK government.

Typically, calorific vales are expressed in Megajoules per cubic metre (MJ/m3) for solid and liquid fuels or Megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg) for gaseous fuels.

Calorific value can be expressed as a Net Calorific Value (NCV, or Lower Heating Value), or a Gross Calorific Value (GCV, a Higher Heating Value):

  • The Net Calorific Value considers that the combustion products contain water of combustion to the vapour state, and so the heat energy in the water is not recovered.
  • The Gross Calorific Value considers that the water of combustion is condensed, and so the heat energy in the water is recovered.

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