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Title: Energy System and Thermoeconomic Analysis of Combined Heat and Power High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems for Light Commercial Buildings

The United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE)’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is spearheading a program with industry to deploy and independently monitor five kilowatt-electric (kWe) combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell systems (FCSs) in light commercial buildings. This publication discusses results from PNNL’s research efforts to independently evaluate manufacturer-stated engineering, economic, and environmental performance of these CHP FCSs at installation sites. The analysis was done by developing parameters for economic comparison of CHP installations. Key thermodynamic terms are first defined, followed by an economic analysis using both a standard accounting approach and a management accounting approach. Key economic and environmental performance parameters are evaluated, including (1) the average per unit cost of the CHP FCSs per unit of power, (2) the average per unit cost of the CHP FCSs per unit of energy, (3) the change in greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollution emissions with a switch from conventional power plants and furnaces to CHP FCSs; (4) the change in GHG mitigation costs from the switch; and (5) the change in human health costs related to air pollution. From the power perspective, the average per unit cost per unit of electrical power is estimated to span amore » range from $15–19,000/ kilowatt-electric (kWe) (depending on site-specific changes in installation, fuel, and other costs), while the average per unit cost of electrical and heat recovery power varies between $7,000 and $9,000/kW. From the energy perspective, the average per unit cost per unit of electrical energy ranges from $0.38 to $0.46/kilowatt-hour-electric (kWhe), while the average per unit cost per unit of electrical and heat recovery energy varies from $0.18 to $0.23/kWh. These values are calculated from engineering and economic performance data provided by the manufacturer (not independently measured data). The GHG emissions were estimated to decrease by one-third by shifting from a conventional energy system to a CHP FCS system. The GHG mitigation costs were also proportional to the changes in the GHG gas emissions. Human health costs were estimated to decrease significantly with a switch from a conventional system to a CHP FCS system.« less
Publication Date:
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, 12(3):Article No. 031008
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
combined heat and power; CHP; stationary fuel cells; commercial buildings; high temperature proton exchange membrane; HTPEM; economic analysis