Design and optimization of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell CHP system for residential use

  • Gandiglio M
  • Lanzini A
  • Santarelli M
 et al. 
  • 61


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 29


    Citations of this article.


This work deals with the analysis of a micro-cogeneration system for residential use based on a 1 kWe proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. A detailed system analysis of the fuel cell stack operating at an average temperature of 62 C and the surrounding balance-of-plant (BoP) are taken into account. The gas processing section and the heat recovery system were also designed and optimized in term of heat recovery. Low-grade waste heat, mainly recovered from the PEM stack and the burner exhaust, has been found suitable for feeding a low-temperature thermal user such a radiant floor heating system (operating at ∼35-45 C). According to this configuration, the heat-exchanger network has been optimized following the pinch analysis methodology, and the floor heating system has been sized accordingly. The micro-cogeneration system has been modelled in term of mass and energy balances while efficiency maps were obtained for a varying fuel utilization and current density of the stack. The maximum electrical efficiency achieved is around 36% (AC, LHV), with a stack current of 30 A and a Fuel Utilization (FU) of 80%. The global efficiency (that includes also heat recovery toward the thermal utility) is above 75% for same stack operating conditions. From the floor heating system sizing, the considered micro-CHP PEM system is able to supply around 22.4% of the heat demand by a 50 m2medium-low efficiency building (class E - EU classification) during the winter season. Nevertheless, taking into account a high efficiency building (class A++ - EU classification), the heat released by the PEM plant can supply the overall required thermal load without requiring an auxiliary boiler. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Floor heating system
  • Micro-CHP
  • PEM fuel cell
  • Pinch analysis

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free