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Life cycle assessment of power generation alternatives for a stand-alone mobile house
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1742-6967
2013 (English)In: International journal of hydrogen energy, ISSN 0360-3199, Vol. 38, no 34, 14369-14379 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents comparative life cycle assessment of nine different hybrid power generation solutions that meet the energy demand of a prototypical mobile home. In these nine solutions, photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine are used as the main energy source. Fuel cell and diesel generator are utilized as backup systems. Batteries, compressed H-2, and H-2 in metal hydrides are employed as backup energy storage. The findings of the study shows that renewable energy sources, although they are carbon-free, are not as environmentally friendly as may generally be thought. The comparative findings of this study indicate that a hybrid system with a wind turbine as a main power source and a diesel engine as backup power system is the most environmentally sound solution among the alternatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 38, no 34, 14369-14379 p.
Keyword [en]
Wind, Solar, Fuel cell, Life cycle assessment, Stand-alone, Hybrid power
National Category
Energy Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140167DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2013.09.029ISI: 000328517700001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84886725967OAI: diva2:689280

QC 20140120

Available from: 2014-01-20 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2015-12-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Economic Aspects of Fuel Cell-Based Stationary Energy Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Economic Aspects of Fuel Cell-Based Stationary Energy Systems
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is evident that human activity has an important impact on climate. Constantly increasing energy demand is one of the biggest causes of climate change. The fifth assessment report of the Inter-governmental panel on climate change states that decarbonisation of electricity generation is a key component of climate change mitigation. Increased awareness of this fact and escalating concerns around energy security has brought public attention to the energy industry, especially sustainable power generation systems.

Future energy systems may need to include hydrogen as an energy carrier in order to achieve necessary levels of CO2 emission reductions, and overcome the challenges renewable energy systems present. Fuel cells could be a corner stone of future hydrogen inclusive energy solutions.

New solutions like fuel cells have to compete with existing technologies and overcome the shortcomings of emerging technology. Though these shortcomings are well-recognised, fuel cells also have many advantages which makes continued research and development in the field highly worthwhile and viable. Key to their adoption is the identification of a niche market to utilise their advantages while overcoming their shortcomings with continuous research and development.

This thesis aims to evaluate some of the stationary fuel cell applications and determine whether one could become the niche market as an entry point for fuel cells. This is achieved by economic evaluations of real and hypothetical applications.

Results of the studies here imply that to decrease the total life cycle impacts of fuel cells to more acceptable levels, resource use in the manufacturing phase and recycling in decommissioning should be shown more attention. Results also present a picture showing that none of the applications investigated are economically feasible, given the current state of technology and energy prices. However, fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power systems for data centres show the potential to become the niche market that fuel cells need to grow. A further conclusion is that a broad market, longer stack lifetime, the possibility of selling electricity back to the grid and governmental subsidies are essential components of an environment in which fuel cells can permeate through the niche market to the mainstream markets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 79 p.
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2016:1
Fuel cells, niche market, stationary applications, feasibility, multi-generation
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179137 (URN)978-91-7595-754-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-01-15, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20151210

Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2015-12-10Bibliographically approved

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