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Title: Combined heat, cooling, and power systems based on half effect absorption chillers and polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells
Authors: Loreti, Gabriele
Facci, Andrea Luigi 
Baffo, ilaria 
Ubertini, Stefano 
Keywords: PEMFC CHCP;Half-effect absorption chiller;Power plant modeling;Optimization;GHG
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Gabriele Loreti, Andrea L. Facci, Ilaria Baffo, Stefano Ubertini, Combined heat, cooling, and power systems based on half effect absorption chillers and polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, Applied Energy, Volume 235, 2019, Pages 747-760, ISSN 0306-2619,
Project: 671396 - AutoRe 
Fuel cell based trigeneration plants, that utilize absorption chillers to convert waste heat into cooling energy, are
a promising technology to satisfy heat, power, and cooling demand in warm climates. Polymer electrolyte
membrane fuel cells, that operate at low temperature ( < 100 °C), are the most technologically mature among the
several types of fuel cells. Thermally activated cooling technologies are widely utilized in trigeneration plants to
improve their efficiency. However, absorption chillers require relatively high grade thermal energy and their
coupling with low temperature fuel cells is relatively untapped.
Herein, we perform a techno-economic analysis of a trigeneration plant based on low temperature polymer
electrolyte membrane fuel cells and half-effect absorption chillers. A thermo-chemical model is developed to
estimate the performance of a cogeneration plant based on low temperature fuel cells and of the half-effect
absorption chiller. The behavior of such combined heat, cooling, and power plant is also analyzed within real
energy management scenarios, considering different energy demands, climatic conditions, energy costs, and
plant layouts. The control strategy of the power plant is optimized through a graph-based methodology pre-
viously developed and validated by the authors. Total energy cost and CO 2 emissions are then compared to those
of a reference scenario where electricity is acquired from the distribution grid, thermal energy is produced
through a natural gas boiler, and a mechanical chiller is used for cooling.
The results show that the utilization of half-effect absorption chillers boosts the environmental and economic
benefits for all the considered scenarios. We also demonstrate that the utilization of the absorption chiller re-
duces the imbalance between the results obtained for the different scenarios (i.e. climates), although economic
and environmental benefits associated to distributed generation are strongly influenced by the energy context.
ISSN: ISSN 0306-2619
Appears in Collections:DEIM - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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