SciTech Connect

Title: Micro-CHP Systems for Residential Applications

Micro-CHP Systems for Residential Applications Integrated micro-CHP (Cooling, Heating and Power) system solutions represent an opportunity to address all of the following requirements at once: conservation of scarce energy resources, moderation of pollutant release into our environment, and assured comfort for home-owners. The objective of this effort was to establish strategies for development, demonstration, and sustainable commercialization of cost-effective integrated CHP systems for residential applications. A unified approach to market and opportunity identification, technology assessment, specific system designs, adaptation to modular product platform component conceptual designs was employed. UTRC's recommendation to U.S. Department of Energy is to go ahead with the execution of the proposed product development and commercialization strategy plan under Phase II of this effort. Recent indicators show the emergence of micro-CHP. More than 12,000 micro-CHP systems have been sold worldwide so far, around 7,500 in 2004. Market projections predict a world-wide market growth over 35% per year. In 2004 the installations were mainly in Europe (73.5%) and in Japan (26.4%). The market in North-America is almost non-existent (0.1%). High energy consumption, high energy expenditure, large spark-spread (i.e., difference between electricity and fuel costs), big square footage, and high income are the key conditions for market acceptance. Today, these conditions are best found more » in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New England states. A multiple stage development plan is proposed to address risk mitigation. These stages include concept development and supplier engagement, component development, system integration, system demonstration, and field trials. A two stage commercialization strategy is suggested based on two product versions. The first version--a heat and power system named Micro-Cogen, provides the heat and essential electrical power to the homeowner. In its proposed embodiment, the system has a 2kW prime mover integrated to a furnace platform. The second version is a Micro-Trigen system with heating, cooling and power. It has the same Micro-Cogen platform integrated with a 14kW thermally activated chiller. A Stirling engine is suggested as a promising path for the prime mover. A LiBr absorption chiller is today's best technology in term of readiness level. Paybacks are acceptable for the Micro-Cogen version. However, there is no clear economically viable path for a Micro-Trigen version with today's available technology. This illustrates the importance of financial incentives to home owners in the initial stage of micro-CHP commercialization. It will help create the necessary conditions of volume demand to start transitioning to mass-production and cost reduction. Incentives to the manufacturers will help improve efficiency, enhance reliability, and lower cost, making micro-CHP products more attractive. Successful development of a micro-CHP system for residential applications has the potential to provide significant benefits to users, customers, manufacturers, and suppliers of such systems and, in general, to the nation as a whole. The benefits to the ultimate user are a comfortable and healthy home environment at an affordable cost, potential utility savings, and a reliable supply of energy. Manufacturers, component suppliers, and system integrators will see growth of a new market segment for integrated energy products. The benefits to the nation include significantly increased energy efficiency, reduced consumption of fossil fuels, pollutant and CO{sub 2} emissions from power generation, enhanced security from power interruptions as well as enhanced economic activity and job creation. An integrated micro-CHP energy system provides advantages over conventional power generation, since the energy is used more efficiently by means of efficient heat recovery. Foreign companies are readily selling products, mostly in Europe, and it is urgent to react promptly to these offerings that will soon emerge on the U.S. market as well. For all these reasons, UTC urges the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the Phase II Development Program in the nation's interest. The objective of this study of micro-CHP systems was to establish strategies for development, demonstration, and sustainable commercialization of cost-effective integrated Cooling, Heating and Power (CHP) systems for residential applications. Successful commercialization will ultimately involve component suppliers both for the micro-CHP system, and for the building electric power, heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water supply systems. All of these components must be compatible and integrated as a system with their safe and reliable operation coordinated by an overall supervisory control system. « less
Authors: ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 921640
DOE Contract Number:FC26-04NT42217
Resource Type:Technical Report
Research Org:United Technologies Corporation
Sponsoring Org:USDOE
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; COMMERCIALIZATION; CONTROL SYSTEMS; ELECTRIC POWER; ENERGY CONSUMPTION; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; ENERGY SYSTEMS; FINANCIAL INCENTIVES; FOSSIL FUELS; HEAT RECOVERY; HEATING; HOT WATER; MANUFACTURERS; MARKET; POWER GENERATION; POWER SYSTEMS; STIRLING ENGINES; TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT