Applied Research

Design Optimization, Evaluation, and Integration of a SOFC-based CHP System with Electric Energy Storage for Residential Applications

Energex Industries Co.

Challenge/Opportunity:

Lambton College's research team in close partnership with Energex Industries Co., an Ontario-based energy service provider, are planning to install, integrate, optimize and validate a novel fuel cell-battery system at the research facility at Lambton College—Sustainable Smart House.

Solution/Collaboration:

It will be integrated into an existing renewable energy system to conduct a series of detailed, systematic tests to understand the continuous and transient behaviour of the system under constant and varying loads encountered in a typical household. The Energex’s hybrid energy system employs a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for electricity and thermal energy generation and comes with a robust, novel redox flow battery capable of storing excess electrical energy safely and economically. The SOFC is operated in the range of 800 °C – 1100 °C, making it well suited for combined heat and power applications, since it inherently generates both electrical and thermal energy from a single fuel source. The electrical energy is used to meet the electrical demand of the building, while the thermal energy—heat—will be employed for space and water heating and has potential for space cooling, when used in conjunction with an absorption chiller. The electrical efficiency of SOFCs is around 50%-60%, while in cogeneration applications, the overall efficiency is expected to exceed 85%. The modular nature of the system allows the homeowner to add more capacity, if needed. Furthermore, the operation and maintenance cost are significantly lower than other competing system since there are no moving parts inside the fuel cell stack.


Funder:
Researcher:

Shahram Karimi

Area: Renewable Energy Conversion & Storage

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