System integration of micro-CHP for residential energy demand reduction
Alexandros Adam, UCL
One of the most promising technologies for reducing energy consumption in residential buildings is micro-CHP. Fuel cell based micro-CHPs can efficiently meet heating and part of the electricity needs of residential dwellings. CHP units, in order to satisfy the need for cooling especially during the summer, can use the otherwise wasted heat to drive sorption refrigeration systems.
Residential electricity and heating and cooling demands fluctuate daily and seasonally. The design and operation methods (scheduling of demands, electricity/heat generation etc.) that are utilized to meet those demands are complex. They define the overall performance and efficiency of the building energy system.
The aim of the project is to investigate the design of the system under varying conditions and to present ways of system integration.
A computational model that describes the design, operation and control of fuel cell micro-CHP in residential dwellings is being be developed to simulate the dwelling energy system as part of this PhD project. The model will be dynamic in order to describe not only the micro-CHP system but also the dwelling energy system as a whole including electricity, heat, cooling loads. Existing data will be used to validate and improve the model. Various configurations will be examined and the best solution will be identified. In addition more complex models of systems will be developed that will investigate how fuel cell micro-CHPs can be integrated into a system where technologies such as gas fired boilers, solar thermal panels and heat pumps are already installed.
This research aims to raise awareness of the benefits of electricity and heating generation using fuel cell CHPs in residential buildings. It is expected that this research project will identify the suitability of fuel cells micro-CHPs in various residential buildings. It will expand the understanding of this technology and introduce new methods in the design process and system integration.
CO2 emissions optimisation of a SOFC Micro-CHP in a 4 bed house in London