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Economic Aspects of Fuel Cell-Based Stationary Energy Systems
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1742-6967
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is evident that human activity has an important impact on climate. Constantly increasing energy demand is one of the biggest causes of climate change. The fifth assessment report of the Inter-governmental panel on climate change states that decarbonisation of electricity generation is a key component of climate change mitigation. Increased awareness of this fact and escalating concerns around energy security has brought public attention to the energy industry, especially sustainable power generation systems.

Future energy systems may need to include hydrogen as an energy carrier in order to achieve necessary levels of CO2 emission reductions, and overcome the challenges renewable energy systems present. Fuel cells could be a corner stone of future hydrogen inclusive energy solutions.

New solutions like fuel cells have to compete with existing technologies and overcome the shortcomings of emerging technology. Though these shortcomings are well-recognised, fuel cells also have many advantages which makes continued research and development in the field highly worthwhile and viable. Key to their adoption is the identification of a niche market to utilise their advantages while overcoming their shortcomings with continuous research and development.

This thesis aims to evaluate some of the stationary fuel cell applications and determine whether one could become the niche market as an entry point for fuel cells. This is achieved by economic evaluations of real and hypothetical applications.

Results of the studies here imply that to decrease the total life cycle impacts of fuel cells to more acceptable levels, resource use in the manufacturing phase and recycling in decommissioning should be shown more attention. Results also present a picture showing that none of the applications investigated are economically feasible, given the current state of technology and energy prices. However, fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power systems for data centres show the potential to become the niche market that fuel cells need to grow. A further conclusion is that a broad market, longer stack lifetime, the possibility of selling electricity back to the grid and governmental subsidies are essential components of an environment in which fuel cells can permeate through the niche market to the mainstream markets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 79 p.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2016:1
Keyword [en]
Fuel cells, niche market, stationary applications, feasibility, multi-generation
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179137ISBN: 978-91-7595-754-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-179137DiVA: diva2:881401
Public defence
2016-01-15, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20151210

Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2015-12-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A preliminary environmental assessment of power generation systems for a stand-alone mobile house with cradle to gate approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A preliminary environmental assessment of power generation systems for a stand-alone mobile house with cradle to gate approach
2011 (English)In: Gazi University Journal of Science, ISSN 1303-9709, Vol. 24, no 3, 487-494 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Due to the sporadic characteristics of solar and wind power it has been a challenge to generate a highly reliable power with photovoltaic and or wind turbines alone. A fuel cell as a supplementary energy source is an alternative to overcome this challenge. PV/wind/fuel cell hybrid power system may be a feasible solution for stand-alone applications. In this study, which is a preliminary work of a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), comparison of the power generation alternatives in terms of environmental impacts by evaluating their environmental and energy efficiencies and impacts during the productions of the system components was given. Also, impacts during the production of wind turbines, PV panels, fuel cells and diesel generators were inspected. Eco-Indicator 99 impact assessment method was used as the impact assessment method. It was shown that the in human health and ecosystem quality damage categories the PV panels are less environmentally efficient when compared with other power generation technologies with similar capacities.

Keyword
Fuel cell, Life cycle assessment, Photovoltaic, Stand-alone, Wind, Diesel generators, Eco-Indicator 99, Energy source, Environmental assessment, Feasible solution, Human health, Hybrid power systems, Impact assessments, Life-cycle assessments, Power generation systems, Power generation technology, PV panel, Standalone applications, System components, Energy efficiency, Fuel cells, Life cycle, Photovoltaic cells, Photovoltaic effects, Rating, Solar power generation, Wind power, Wind turbines, Environmental impact
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-151176 (URN)2-s2.0-79960044475 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140917

Available from: 2014-09-17 Created: 2014-09-15 Last updated: 2015-12-10Bibliographically approved
2. Life cycle assessment of power generation alternatives for a stand-alone mobile house
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life cycle assessment of power generation alternatives for a stand-alone mobile house
2013 (English)In: International journal of hydrogen energy, ISSN 0360-3199, E-ISSN 1879-3487, Vol. 38, no 34, 14369-14379 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents comparative life cycle assessment of nine different hybrid power generation solutions that meet the energy demand of a prototypical mobile home. In these nine solutions, photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine are used as the main energy source. Fuel cell and diesel generator are utilized as backup systems. Batteries, compressed H-2, and H-2 in metal hydrides are employed as backup energy storage. The findings of the study shows that renewable energy sources, although they are carbon-free, are not as environmentally friendly as may generally be thought. The comparative findings of this study indicate that a hybrid system with a wind turbine as a main power source and a diesel engine as backup power system is the most environmentally sound solution among the alternatives.

Keyword
Wind, Solar, Fuel cell, Life cycle assessment, Stand-alone, Hybrid power
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140167 (URN)10.1016/j.ijhydene.2013.09.029 (DOI)000328517700001 ()2-s2.0-84886725967 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140120

Available from: 2014-01-20 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. A Preliminary Feasibility Study of a Fuel Cell Based Combined Cooling Heating and Power System
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Preliminary Feasibility Study of a Fuel Cell Based Combined Cooling Heating and Power System
2011 (English)In: Gazi University Journal of Polytechnic, ISSN 1302-0900, Vol. 14, no 3, 199-202 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) systems, provide an alternative for the world to meet and solve energy – related problems, such as energy shortages, supply security, emissions, the economy, and conservation of energy, etc. CCHP systems do not just provide electricity and heating but also cooling for space air conditioning or processes. Recent studies points out that the overall efficiencies of CCHP systems that exploit an advanced thermally activated technology are superior to conventional systems. This study is a preliminary feasibility of a fuel cell based combined heat and power (CHP) system coupled with an open cycle desiccant cooling. The technology is based on the principle of outside air dehumidification by an adsorbent. The study shows that the payback time is around 13 years. With governmental and European Union incentives, possible increases in power prices and decreases in costs by mass production the payback time is expected to decrease in the future.

Keyword
CCHP, Desiccant cooling, Sustainability, Fuel cell, Feasibility
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179134 (URN)
Note

QC 20151210

Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2017-04-18Bibliographically approved
4. Fuel cell based cogeneration: Comparison of electricity production cost for Swedish conditions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fuel cell based cogeneration: Comparison of electricity production cost for Swedish conditions
Show others...
2013 (English)In: International journal of hydrogen energy, ISSN 0360-3199, E-ISSN 1879-3487, Vol. 38, no 10, 3858-3864 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A good portion of greenhouse gas emissions is caused by the energy used in the built environment. Emission reduction goals may be achieved by combining cogeneration with fuel cells (PC). This paper investigates electricity production costs for PC based cogeneration systems with recent data for Swedish conditions. The types of FCs that are investigated are proton exchange membrane PC and molten carbonate FC. Based solely on cost, PC based cogeneration systems cannot compete with conventional systems. However, our results show that Molten Carbonate PC based cogeneration systems will be profitable by 2020. To compete with conventional systems, the capital cost, lifetime and efficiency of FCs must be improved. Creation of a reasonably broad market is essential since it will greatly help to reduce capital costs and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, the dominating parts of the overall costs according to the analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2013
Keyword
Cogeneration, Fuel cells, MCFC, PEMFC, Sweden
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-121464 (URN)10.1016/j.ijhydene.2013.01.178 (DOI)000316714200004 ()2-s2.0-84875212412 (Scopus ID)
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20130502

QC 20151215

Available from: 2013-05-02 Created: 2013-04-29 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
5. An Economical Comparison of Power-to-Gas Alternatives in Bozcaada - Turkey
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Economical Comparison of Power-to-Gas Alternatives in Bozcaada - Turkey
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although currently conventional electricity generation methods dominate the market, the share of renewable energy systems is constantly increasing. Intermittent nature of solar and wind cause several problems. Power-to-gas is a method that can help with these problems by generating and storing hydrogen gas during off-peak hours so it can be reconverted into electricity via fuel cells and/or H2 internal combustion engines coupled with electricity generators during peak hours. In this study an economical evaluation of power-to-gas systems for an existing photovoltaic-Wind hybrid power system was made. Results indicate that although the photovoltaic-Wind may reduce the energy bill considerably when it is possible to sell electricity to the grid, coupling it with a power-to-gas system makes it unprofitable over the lifetime of the system.

Keyword
Hydrogen; Renewable energy; Power-to-gas; Wind; Solar; Feasibility
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179135 (URN)
Note

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2015-12-10Bibliographically approved
6. Economic feasibility study of a fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power system for a data centre
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Economic feasibility study of a fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power system for a data centre
2016 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 111, 218-223 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The energy use of data centres is increasing as the data storage needs increase. One of the largest items in the energy use of these facilities is cooling. A fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power system can efficiently meet such a centre's need for cooling and in the meantime generate enough electricity for the centre and more. In this paper the economic feasibility of a fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power system that meets the energy demands of such a facility is investigated using operational data from an existing data centre in Stockholm, Sweden. The results show that although the system is not feasible with current energy prices and technology it may be feasible in the future with the projected changes in energy prices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keyword
Fuel cell, Combined cooling heating and power, Data centre, Feasibility
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179131 (URN)10.1016/j.enbuild.2015.11.012 (DOI)000369191100020 ()2-s2.0-84949493559 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160111. QC 20160304

Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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