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Economic feasibility study of a fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power system for a data centre
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1742-6967
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9203-9313
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2268-5042
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0635-7372
2016 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 111, 218-223 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The energy use of data centres is increasing as the data storage needs increase. One of the largest items in the energy use of these facilities is cooling. A fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power system can efficiently meet such a centre's need for cooling and in the meantime generate enough electricity for the centre and more. In this paper the economic feasibility of a fuel cell-based combined cooling, heating and power system that meets the energy demands of such a facility is investigated using operational data from an existing data centre in Stockholm, Sweden. The results show that although the system is not feasible with current energy prices and technology it may be feasible in the future with the projected changes in energy prices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 111, 218-223 p.
Keyword [en]
Fuel cell, Combined cooling heating and power, Data centre, Feasibility
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179131DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2015.11.012ISI: 000369191100020ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84949493559OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-179131DiVA: diva2:881392
Note

QC 20160111. QC 20160304

Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2016-03-04Bibliographically 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.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2016:1
Keyword
Fuel cells, niche market, stationary applications, feasibility, multi-generation
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20151210

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

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The full text will be freely available from 2018-01-10 12:49
Available from 2018-01-10 12:49

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