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Home Fuel Cell

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Bruce551

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High efficiency achieved by electricity generation at home

http://panasonic.net/ha/e/FC/doc02_00.html

"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%.

Fuelcell-Grid1.gif

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.

Fuelcell-Grid2.gif

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.

Fuelcell-grid3.gif

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.

 

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High efficiency achieved by electricity generation at home

http://panasonic.net/ha/e/FC/doc02_00.html

"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%.

Fuelcell-Grid1.gif

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.

Fuelcell-Grid2.gif

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.

Fuelcell-grid3.gif

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.

 

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Thanks Bruce - this is very interesting, and great for use in a cold country where heating is required. In the warmer countries like Thailand the problem is what to use the extra heat for?

There is very little need for hot water, and of course no requirement at all during 90% of the year for heating, even in the northern areas.

One thing I note is that the electricity generated is roughly 35%, which equates exactly to the efficiency of the power generation at a power station, plus transmission loss - but I wonderd if, at the home site, the overall 35% efficiency also takes into account the losses in the inverter, as they are typically around 85% to 95% depending on the size of the unit.

On a related note, my brother in Sydney put in a government backed PE cell system at his home - the deal is that you buy this and sell electricity back to the grid - in fact you can ONLY sell it back - it is illegal to use it yourself in Australia due to ridiculous monopolistic legislation disallowing individuals (except primary producers and certain other categories) from generating their own power!

The point was that my brother sells the electricity back to the utility at some reasonable amount per KwH, but then found out that the utility now CHARGES MORE per KwH than before, simply because he has a power generating system - in fact the extra charge almost totally offsets the amount he sells the PE output for per KwH...!

The end result is that his electricity cost has VERY slightly decreased, but there was the not insignificant cost of his having to pay for the purchase and installation of the PE cell system in the first place - he will be making an overall loss for quite a few years longer than he expected.

Maybe by the time he has covered the cost of the PE system, he will have to start replacing components anyway... what a rip-off!!!

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grezzzy greer and Soda -- thank you for comments.

The main idea is to let houses & buildings to generate their power because it's more efficient & cleaner than massive power plants . Also, a decentralized Grid is more reliable, not dependent one big power plant. This is called decentralized or distributed power. There are different kinds of fuel cells, some make electricity and hot water, and others make just electrical power.

In Thailand, Fuel Cells that make electricity and hot water would be good for hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and food processing.

EGAT wants spent 70 Billion Baht on 2, big gas power plants. A strong building energy efficiency program could reduce electrical consumption the same amount as the new power plants produce for one third the cost, 23 billion Baht.

A mix of Building Energy Efficiency and "On Site" power generation, Solar PV Roof Top, Fuel Cells would reduce Thailand's gas imports, create good local jobs and lower energy prices in the long run.

One last point, 10 years in future, you can bet natural gas prices will be very high because of increasing demand from India & China. So using energy wisely is a matter of National Security.

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the idea of individual energy generation will contiue growing. I have noticed more and more indvidiual turbines springing up in rural areas, both farm and home based. The barrier I see at the moment is planning departments blocking the installation of home based turbines in more urban areas.

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Politicians absolutely do not want local fuel cells, because this let them without company administration boards incomes! So they will care for private fuel prices high, when the electricity producers can get it low...

Opposite to official "tax" motivation, real purpose is to protect their main income origin: administrations boards....

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Yes now all we need to do is to convince the powers that be to stop trying to use climate change as an excuse to rip off the people.

The extra charges placed on electricity consumers in Australia who have PAID for their own clean generating technology, must stop.

In other places there are laws to prevent individuals from "going it alone" when it comes to many of their energy needs, and this is simply there to protect the profits of large companies, to the ultimate detriment of the society and the planet... this can no longer be allowed.

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Bruce you may be interested in this site ........... http://www.cfcl.com.au/

Greer, Excess from the unit could be used in a condenser and converted to cold air as in an airconditioner.

I read some where that there may be a market for such a product in countries like Thailand and Australia.

Imagine your appartment block with its own power generator, no more brown outs hi power bills and imagine the street scape without all those power poles and lines !!!

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