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FUEL CELLS IN BUILDINGS. Research needs to develop the sector. “Low temperature fuel cell systems which have a potential for a very low cost per kW and which, in the medium term, may be commercialised in stationary (buildings, industrial and commercial), mobile or portable applications.”

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fuel cells in buildings


Research needs to develop the sector

“Low temperature fuel cell systems which have a potential for a very low cost per kW and which, in the medium term, may be commercialised in stationary (buildings, industrial and commercial), mobile or portable applications.”
  • “The aim should be to come to a first commercialisation of SPFC for cogeneration applications in buildings and for transport in 5-10 years”
  • “Demonstration of isolated applications (transport, stationary) up to 300kW systems to quantify the potential of the technology”
  • Fuel Cell Research strategy for Europe, 1998
  • Fuel cells provide heat and power, CHP
  • Less pollution than IC or turbines(no NOX, SOX or particulates) when using fossil fuel
  • Less noise
  • Better electrical efficiency
  • Better overall efficiency
  • More reliable and will require less maintenance
  • Quick start up if run on hydrogen
  • Several fuel cell types can be used, PAFC, SOFC, PEM………
In the medium to long term fuel cells offer the best option for CHP in buildings.
  • Domestic scale, microCHP
  • Large scale
domestic scale
Domestic scale
  • MicroCHP 1-5 kWe
  • Replaces the domestic boiler
  • See the MICROMAP project report on COGEN Europe web site.
  • Two demonstration projects in Europe
sulzer hexis trials
Sulzer Hexis trials
  • 1kWe SOFC (2.5 kW th)
  • Field testing 1997-
  • 21+ individual systems trialled
  • I year life?
  • Overall efficiency 70%
  • “Pre-series 1000 Premiere”
virtual fuel cell power plant
Virtual Fuel Cell Power Plant
  • EC supported project
  • Vaillant using “Plugpower” system
  • PEM
  • 1-4.5kWe
  • 4 currently installed, second wave coming
large scale projects
Large scale projects
  • Existing market for CHP
  • Several long term demonstrations on FC systems
  • PAFC mostly (USA also)
  • Demonstrations in traditional best CHP areas
woking borough council uk
Woking Borough Council UK
  • 200kWe PAFC
  • Heat supplied to recreation centre
  • Electricity to a “private wire” network
  • One of ten PC25 demonstrated in Europe by UTC since 1991
malteser hospital germany
Malteser Hospital, Germany
  • EC supported demonstration project
  • 200kWe (220kWth)PAFC PC25
  • Trigeneration system with adsorption chiller
  • Provides back-up UPS also
  • Uses solar heat for the adsorption chillers
  • Started May 2000, EC project completed, continues in use (15 year life expected)
  • MCFC cell at the University in Bielefeld
  • Fuel cell park in Essen
current situation
Current situation
  • High FC cost stops commercialisation
  • Competing technologies
  • PAFC being phased out due to capital costs
  • Reliability of other FC systems too low
  • Enormous current investment, particularly in PEM FCs for vehicles
  • USA and Japan investing heavily
  • USA has programme of PEM trials in buildings
  • EC has FC programmes
  • New EU CHP Directive
fc build integrated project
FC BUILD Integrated Project
  • FaberMaunsell
  • Johnson Matthey
  • COGEN Europe
  • Plus fuel suppliers, Government energy agencies, absorption chiller manufacturers, CHP packagers, and others
conclusions on areas for r d
Conclusions on areas for R&D
  • Time is right for trials in actual buildings
  • Non-domestic applications is a major area due to the existing CHP market.
  • PEM cells are appropriate for buildings applications – funding, performance and cost
  • FCs will be particularly appropriate for office type installations due to power to heat ratio
applications in non domestic buildings
Applications in non-domestic buildings
  • Replacing the traditional CHP systems
  • Leisure centres, hospitals, hotels……….
  • Commercial, offices with trigeneration (where CHP is not economic)
  • UPS
  • Peak load lopping
research and trials needed
Research and trials needed
  • Trials of FC systems in actual building environments
  • Component performance examination and improvement
  • Trigeneration development and performance testing
  • Plus
  • Further research in FC reliability, cost reduction, longevity and efficiency.
detailed testing needs buildings related
Detailed testing needs, buildings related
  • Comparing the output of FC systems with building needs, particularly temperatures
  • Investigating installation issues, space, health and safety
  • Develop appropriate control systems
  • Measure pollution during operation, ventilation requirements, etc.
  • Maintenance and breakdown
  • Start up and close down issues
  • Efficiencies
  • Life time
detailed testing needs trigeneration
Detailed testing needs, trigeneration
  • Investigate low temperature ab/adsorption chillers
  • Boosting PEM temperatures
  • Increasing efficiencies
  • Reducing costs
developing the framework
Developing the framework
  • Education for designers, technicians, etc
  • University courses
  • Codes and standards for FCs in buildings
  • General publicity for public and building owners
  • Develop appropriate incentives for FC use
  • Great interest in FCs in the buildings sector
  • Europe needs to compete with USA and Japan
  • Need to get European manufacturers going
  • Need to get the European CHP industry active in the area
  • Publicity from good field trials is needed