High efficiency achieved by electricity generation at home
"Electricity", a form of energy now indispensable in our daily lives, is generated in large-scale atomic, thermal, or hydroelectric power stations and transmitted along power lines to individual homes. Household fuel cells allow households to generate part of the electricity they require, reducing the electricity purchase from an electric power company. In addition, they serve as a cogeneration system, which use thermal energy produced by electricity generation for water and air heating.
Fuel cells --- Suitable for electricity generation at home
Highly energy-efficient cogeneration system
It would be best if exhaust heat emitted during the generation process from large-scale power stations could also be converted to thermal energy for heating air or water to use the inputted energy more efficiently. However, it is not considered practical to send hot water (thermal energy) to homes by pipelines from far-removed locations of such large-scale power stations.
Energy efficiency of centralized electricity generation
For example, at thermal power stations, a large part of thermal energy to turn turbines for electricity generation is released into the air or sea without being used. Such losses due to waste of unused heat account for approx. 61%.
Further, an electricity loss of approx. 2% is also generated during transmission via power lines from remote locations to homes.
Therefore, centralized electricity generation at thermal power stations can only use approximately 37% of the energy supplied as fuel (100%).
Household cogeneration systems allow homes to use thermal energy produced when electricity is generated.
Energy efficiency of electricity generation at home
Electricity generation at home using a fuel cell causes little energy loss because fuel is supplied through the existing city gas supply infrastructure.
When electricity is generated at home using our household fuel cell at an electricity generation efficiency of 35% (HHV) and heat recovery efficiency of 50% (HHV), 85% of the supplied energy can be used, and in contrast, only 37% can be used with a centralized energy generation system.
Since a cogeneration system generates and uses electricity at the same place, it does not cause transmission loss, and can effectively use heat produced by electricity generation to heat water and air. Therefore, it eliminates wasted energy and reduces CO2 emissions.
Fuel cells --- Ideal for electricity generation at home
Many types of cogeneration systems are already in use. However, most of them are large-scale systems equipped with an engine or turbine for use in factories or office buildings. If these systems were downsized to cope with the power and thermal demands of general households, the systems would be unsuitable for household use in terms of the energy efficiency and equipment costs and due to exhaust gas emissions and high levels of vibration and noise.
Fuel cell type cogeneration systems generate electricity using the chemical reaction of fuel, so the exhaust is clean. In addition, since they have few mechanical moving parts, they operate quietly. The unit size is similar to a CO2 heat pump boiler, which fits well in a home.
With these advantages, household fuel cell cogeneration systems (ENE FARM) have enabled high-efficiency electricity generation at home that is suitable for the balance of the demands for power and heat for heating water and air for household use.