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Development of an Optimal Operating Strategy for a Combined Heat, Power and Hydrogen System

Author(s): Michael W. Ellis

Journal: International Journal of Thermodynamics
ISSN 1301-9724

Volume: 6;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 121;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: fuel cell | hydrogen | reformer | transportation | building | heat | power

The operation of a combined heat, power and hydrogen (HPH) system is analyzed. In this system, hydrogen from a natural gas fuel processor is compressed, stored and used to fuel fleet vehicles. The hydrogen is also supplied to a building fuel cell system that provides both electricity and hot water for space heating and water heating. An approach is developed to optimize the operation of an HPH system. The approach is illustrated by application to a laboratory/office building that is part of a large industrial facility which also operates a fleet of vehicles. Results show that, for the assumed first cost values of the fuel processor and fuel cell, coupling a stationary fuel cell system to a vehicle refueling system provides economical refueling for smaller vehicle fleets and increases the economic value of the refueling station at all fleet sizes. For larger fleet sizes, the combined HPH system offers higher economic value than a stationary fuel cell system alone. A sensitivity study shows that for a natural gas cost of $0.0065/MJ and an electrical demand cost that exceeds $7.50/kW, the HPH system yields a greater net present value than an independent vehicle refueling system.
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