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An Investigation of DIR-MCFC Based Cooling, Heating and Power System

[+] Author Affiliations
Indraneel Samanta, Ramesh K. Shah, Ali Ogut

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

Paper No. FUELCELL2003-1742, pp. 373-379; 7 pages
  • ASME 2003 1st International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • 1st International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference
  • Rochester, New York, USA, April 21–23, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3668-1
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


The fuel cell is an emerging technology for stationary power generation because of their higher energy conversion efficiency and extremely low environmental pollution. Fuel cell systems with cogeneration have even higher overall efficiency. Cogeneration can be defined as simultaneous production of electric power and useful heat from burning of single fuel. A fuel cell produces electrical energy by electrolytic process involving chemical reaction between H2 (fuel) and O2 (Air). Previous works have focussed on running the system in combination with gas turbines. We investigate the possibility of running an absorption chiller as a cogeneration system focussing on a 250 kW Direct Internal Reforming Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (DIR-MCFC) powering a LiBr-Water absorption chiller. The objective of this work is to propose a cogeneration system capable of enhancing the profitability and efficiency of a MCFC for independent distributed power generation. Natural gas is used as fuel and O2 is used from atmospheric air. Two possibilities are evaluated to recover heat from the exhaust of the MCFC: (1) all waste heat available being used for providing hot water in the building and powering an absorption chiller in summer, and (2) hot water supply and space heating in winter. There is an increased cost saving for each case along with improved system efficiency. Based on these considerations payback period for each case is presented.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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