Technical Briefs

Energy Analysis of a Residential Combined Heat and Power System Based on a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Minutillo

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Cassino, Via Di Biasio 43, 03043 Cassino, FR, Italyminutillo@unicas.it

A. Perna

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Cassino, Via Di Biasio 43, 03043 Cassino, FR, Italyperna@unicas.it

The directive is a legislative act of the European Union.

The selectivity is defined as 0.5·(COinletCOoutletCH4outlet)/(O2inletO2outlet).

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 6(1), 014502 (Nov 26, 2008) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2971197 History: Received June 15, 2007; Revised November 30, 2007; Published November 26, 2008

In this work the preliminary results of the research activity regarding the development of a microcogeneration unit prototype based on a proton exchange membrane fuel cell for residential application have been presented. The combined heat and power (CHP) system, which has been designed to optimize the integration of commercial and precommercial components, is equipped with two fuel cell stacks, a natural gas steam reforming unit, a heat recovery unit, electrical devices such as batteries, dc/ac converters, and auxiliary components such as compressors and pumps. In order to evaluate the electrical and thermal energy production and to estimate the system efficiency, an energy analysis has been carried out by using a numerical model. The simulation results pointed out that the microcogeneration system is able to provide 2.2kWel and 2.5kWth with electrical and CHP efficiencies (refer to the low heating value) of 40% and 88%, respectively. Furthermore, the primary energy savings, achievable by using the cogeneration system in comparison with a separate generation of electricity and heat from a centralized power plant and conventional boilers, have been evaluated.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Flowsheet of the CHP system, developed by ASPEN PLUS ™ code

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Figure 2

Net thermal power versus the net electric power

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Figure 3

Net electric and CHP efficiencies

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Figure 4

Average hourly electric load

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Figure 5

Annual monthly thermal energy demand

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Figure 6

Annual monthly electrical balance of the CHP system



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