Investigation of a Combined Heat and Power Fuel Cell System for Small Scale Residential Applications

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Title: Investigation of a Combined Heat and Power Fuel Cell System for Small Scale Residential Applications
Author: Dash, Gordon H
Advisors: Dr. Richard Johnson, Committee Chair
Dr. Herbert Eckerlin, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Nancy Ma, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: Fuel cell technology is an emerging technology that provides a highly efficient, quit operation, and environmentally friendly energy conversion technology for stationary and mobile applications. Stationary fuel cell applications have received greater attention for their ability to capture the heat rejected, from the production of electricity, for heating applications. This paper evaluates a modeled PEMFC system, and presents the heat and power efficiencies of the system. The method used to evaluate the system is the TRNSYS simulation. TRNSYS models the transient performance of thermal systems by using a modular structure. A model of the PEMFC system is developed to determine the energy required to meet the hourly average electric load of the residence. The model evaluates the amount of heat generated and the amount of heat used for thermal loads of the residence. The electricity for lights, appliances, and space cooling is provided by the PEMFC, the space heating and water heating is provided by the thermal energy generated from the PEMFC, which is stored within two hot water storage tanks. An electric resistance heater and an electric water heater will supplement the space heating and water-heating load not provided by the PEMFC. The results of this research show that a 1.5KW system, with a heat exchanger UA value of 5239 kJ/hr-K, and main storage and hot water tank sizes of 80 and 40 gallons, will provide up to 40% energy savings over conventional systems. The system will provided up to 65% cogeneration efficiencies. The economics of the system show that the price of the PEMFC system with a reformer needs to be priced at $20/cell.
Date: 2003-04-09
Degree: MS
Discipline: Mechanical Engineering

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