1 Department of Energy Technology, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN2 Fluid Mechanics and Combustion, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN3 The Faculty of Engineering and Science (ENG), Aalborg University, VBN4 Thermal Energy Systems, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN
In this study a micro-combined-heat-and-power (micro-CHP) system is coupled to a vapor-compression heat pump to fulfill the residential needs for heating (space heating and water heating) and electricity in detached single-family households in Denmark. Such a combination is assumed to be attractive for application, since both fuel cell technology and electric heat pumps are found to be two of the most efficient technologies for generation/conversion of useful energy. The micro-CHP system is fueled with natural gas and includes a fuel cell stack, a fuel processor and other auxiliary components. The micro-CHP system assumes heat-led operation, to avoid dumping of heat and the use of complicated thermal energy storage. The overall system is grid-interconnected to allow importing and exporting of electricity as necessary. In this study emphasis is given on the operational characterization of the system. The variational loads are considered from full to quarter load, and the micro-CHP system is optimized in terms of operating thermophysical parameters for every different load. The results clearly indicate the capability of the proposed system to perform efficiently throughout all necessary load changes to fulfill the residential load profile. The average net electrical efficiency and average total system efficiency are 0.380 and 0.815, respectively. However cost analysis shows that certain synergies are necessary to allow the proposed system to make an entry to the energy market as a possible candidate to replace heat pump-only equipped households.