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Title: Analysis of a Fuel Cell Combined Heat and Power Plant Under Realistic Smart Management Scenarios
Authors: Facci, Andrea Luigi
Ubertini, Stefano 
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Facci, A. L., Ubertini, S. 2018. Analysis of a fuel cell combined heat and power plant under realistic smart management scenarios." Applied Energy" 216 : 60-72
Project: AutoRe H2020 n° 671396 
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are a promising and mature technology for combined heat and power plants. High efficiency (in particular for small size devices), practically zero pollutant emissions, noiseless operation and fast response to transient
demand make these energy systems excellent prime movers for residential and commercial application. Nevertheless, due to large
capital costs, their utilization and commercialization are still limited to demonstrative projects. In this scenario we are working
on a research project, called AutoRe, which utilizes an automotive derivative fuel cell for a cogeneration plant to create a synergy
between two non competitive industries (automotive and stationary plants) and to realize a significant economy of scale that will
drastically cut the costs of fuel cell based cogenerative plants. In this paper we perform a thorough techno-economic analysis of the
AutoRe (AUTomotive deRivative Energy system) power plant. A number of realistic energy management scenarios are constructed
by varying the energy demand, the climatic condition, the energy cost, and the efficiency of the surrounding energy system. The
control strategy is determined on an hourly basis, by minimizing the cost or the primary energy consumption through a graph
based methodology. The resulting global parameters are compared to a reference scenario where electricity is acquired from the
grid and heat is locally produced through a natural gas boiler. We consider 5 different building types (Office, Apartment district,
Clinic, Hotel, Supermarket), 5 different climatic conditions (Hot, Cooling Based, Moderate, Heating based, Cold), and 2 differ-
ent surrounding energy systems (USA and Europe). The results show that overall the proposed plant is economically sustainable
and effective in reducing the energy costs and the primary energy consumption. Nevertheless, the building type and the energy
prices impact on the return on investment, while the climatic condition affects the relative cost and energy variations. In the US
scenario the management based on cost and primary energy minimization exhibits similar patterns. On the contrary, in Europe cost
minimization might increase the primary energy consumption with respect to the reference scenario.
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