Combined heat and power fuel cell systems, including Micro combined heat and power systems are used to generate both electricity and heat for homes , office construction and factories. The machine creates constant electric power , and at exactly the exact same time produces hot air and water from the waste heat. As the result CHP systems have the capacity to save primary energy because they can take advantage of waste heat that's usually rejected by thermal energy conversion systems.
Co-generation systems may reach 85% efficiency . Phosphoric-acid fuel cells comprise the largest segment of current CHP products globally and can provide combined efficiencies close to 90%. Molten Carbonate and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells can also be used for combined heat and power generation and have electrical energy efficiences around 60%.
Delta-ee consultants stated in 2013 that with 64% of international sales the fuel cell micro-combined heating and electricity passed the traditional systems in sales in
The energy efficiency of a system or device that converts energy is quantified by the proportion of the amount of useful energy put out by the machine into the complete quantity of energy that's put in or by useful output energy as a proportion of the whole input energy. In the case of fuel cells, useful output energy is measured in electric energy produced by the system. Input energy is the energy stored in the fuel. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fuel cells are usually between 40--60% energy efficient. In combined heat and power systems, the heat produced by the fuel cell is captured and put to use, raising the efficiency of the system to up to 85--90%.
The theoretical maximum efficiency of any type of power generation process is never reached in practice, and it doesn't consider other measures in power generation, such as production, storage and transportation of fuel and conversion of their electricity into mechanical power. However, this calculation enables the comparison of different types of power generation. The maximum theoretical energy efficiency of a fuel cell is 83%, operating at low power density and using pure oxygen and hydrogen as reactants
The electric storage fuel cell is a standard battery chargeable by electrical power input, using the standard electro-chemical effect. However, the battery further includes hydrogen inputs for rather charging the battery.
Portable power systems using fuel cells may be utilised in the leisure sector , the industrial sector , and in the military sector. SFC Energy is a German manufacturer of direct methanol fuel cells for a variety of mobile power systems.
Solid-oxide fuel cells produce heat from the recombination of the oxygen and hydrogen. The ceramic can operate as hot as 800 degrees Celsius. This heat can be captured and used to heat water in a micro combined heat and power application. After the heat is recorded, total efficiency can reach 80--90% in the unit, but doesn't consider production and production losses. CHP units are being developed now for the European home market.
FuelCell Energy, a Connecticut-based fuel cell manufacturer, sells and develops MCFC fuel cells. The company says that their MCFC products range from 300 kW to 2.8 MW systems that reach 47% electric efficiency and can utilize CHP technologies to obtain higher overall efficiencies. 1 product, the DFC-ERG, is combined with a gas turbine and, according to the company, it accomplishes an electrical efficiency of 65%.
Fuel cells come in many varietiesnonetheless, they all work in the same general method. They are composed of three adjacent segments: the anode, the electrolyte, as well as the cathode. Two chemical reactions occur at the interfaces of the three unique segments. The net result of both reactions is that fuel is consumed, water or carbon dioxide is created, and an electrical current is created, which is used to power electrical devices, normally referred to as the load.
The waste heat from fuel cells can be diverted during the summer directly into the ground providing additional cooling while the waste heat during winter could be pumped directly into the building. The University of Minnesota owns the patent rights to this type of system