Fuel Cell


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Description A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that uses oxygen and replenished fuel to produce electricity. Fuel cells can be designed as home fuel cells for a residential- scaled energy system and the technology can be used for micro combined heat and power systems. Combined heat and power cells have a superior efficiency by fulfilling heat and electricity demand from one system. A fuel cell converts natural gas, propane and biofuels into electricity and the byproducts heat, carbon dioxide and small amounts of NOx as exhaust. Electricity and heat will be produced as long as fuel is supplied to a fuel cell, which allows a residence to reduce overall energy consumption, carbon emissions and utility costs while being able to operate on-site within a home and 24 hours a day. There are many different types of fuel cells like the alkaline fuel cell (AFC), direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC), etc. where the most technologies are still at an early stage of development and not commercially available today.
Advantages
  • Sustainable: Fuel Cells can be operated with biofuels and pollution free
  • Energy efficient: Fuel cells have more than two times the efficiency of traditional combustion technologies
  • Fuel cells can have efficiency rates of up to 85% when heat from the fuel cell is captured and used in combination with electrical power
Disadvantages
  • High initial investment costs
  • Startup time
  • Lifetime - Around 60,000 hours
Characteristic features

Higher efficiency by co-generation of electricity and heat by one single device.

Application barriers

Fuel cells are very complex systems.

Information sources http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2014/june/the-fuel-cell-for-home.html
http://www.fuelcellenergy.com/
http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25257
http://energy.gov/eere/videos/energy-101-fuel-cell-technology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_fuel_cell
http://www.fuelcells.org/
http://www.wbdg.org/resources/fuelcell.php
Image
Trade: Building services
Parameter Minimal Value Maximal Value Unit
Fuel

City gas (13A), Reformate, Natural Gas, Propane, Biofuels, Hydrogen and Air

Total Volume

dm3

Dimensions

70/75/47

400/1750/400

W/H/D in mm

Weight Dry

0.245

90

kg

Cooling Package

dm3

Maximum Net Power

500

6000

W

Nominal Voltage

5.5

57.0

V

Current

0

200

A

Maximum CO Emission

lbs/MWh

Maximum CO2 Emission

lbs/MWh

Maximum NOX Emission

lbs/MWh

Sound Power Level

dBA

Ambient Temperature Range

-40

70

°C

Fuel Flow Rate

0.18

65

l/min

Input Fuel Pressure

0.45

0.55

Bar

Electrical Efficiency (LHV)

95.0

%

Heat Rate (HHV)

85.8

%

Operating Efficiency

40

%

Annual Degradation Rate in Efficiency

%

Annual Produced Energy

kWh

Investment Cost

368

21,054

Operating Cost

5.59

Cent/kWh

Replacement Cost

€/year

Life Expectancy

60,000

70,000

hours

Deterioration Description
Causes
Parameter
Degradation Rate
Measurement


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