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Fuel Cell Micro-CHPs Provide Efficient Power and Heat for Homes


Micro combined generation of heat and power (CHP) have been added to the qualities of fuel cells. These smaller scale CHPs can be used as a replacement of conventional household boilers or as an addition to gas and heating systems. Used either way, this energy efficiency technology could place Germany in a very favorable position on the growing European market

This is the conclusion of an ecological and economic analysis of fuel cell micto-CHP that was conducted by the German Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg (IFEU) in cooperation with the Research Institute for Energy Economics (FfE) and the German Institute for Economic Research (GWS).

The focus of the study was fuel cell micro-CHP systems with electricity output smaller than 10 kWe. These were tested based on the successful implementation of such technology by the Japanese Ene-Farm scheme.

Fuel cell micro-CHPs have high efficiency and power-to-heat ratio. In addition, they can be scaled so that they can be used in low-energy building concepts. When fitted in an average sized house, the micro-CHP system could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40%. The researchers, who conducted the study, estimated that for the whole of Germany, the emissions will be brought down with 1.5 million tones over the period from now until year 2020.

And this is not the only benefit. Fuel cell technology can generate extra income for the country’s economy of up to €2.5 billion if the cogenerated electricity is sold to the grid.

Economists at the German Institute for Economic Research predict that distributing stationary fuel cells will lead to positive macroeconomic effects by 2020.

Via: Fuel Cell Today

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