Smart Energy Management and Control for Fuel Cell Based Micro-Grid Connected Neighborhoods

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Fuel cell power generation promises to be an efficient, pollution-free, reliable power source in both large scale and small scale, remote applications. DOE formed the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance with the intention of breaking one of the last barriers remaining for cost effective fuel cell power generation. The Alliance’s goal is to produce a core solid-state fuel cell module at a cost of no more than $400 per kilowatt and ready for commercial application by 2010. With their inherently high, 60-70% conversion efficiencies, significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and negligible emissions of other pollutants, fuel cells will be the ... continued below

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Alam, Dr. Mohammad S. March 15, 2006.

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Description

Fuel cell power generation promises to be an efficient, pollution-free, reliable power source in both large scale and small scale, remote applications. DOE formed the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance with the intention of breaking one of the last barriers remaining for cost effective fuel cell power generation. The Alliance’s goal is to produce a core solid-state fuel cell module at a cost of no more than $400 per kilowatt and ready for commercial application by 2010. With their inherently high, 60-70% conversion efficiencies, significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and negligible emissions of other pollutants, fuel cells will be the obvious choice for a broad variety of commercial and residential applications when their cost effectiveness is improved. In a research program funded by the Department of Energy, the research team has been investigating smart fuel cell-operated residential micro-grid communities. This research has focused on using smart control systems in conjunction with fuel cell power plants, with the goal to reduce energy consumption, reduce demand peaks and still meet the energy requirements of any household in a micro-grid community environment. In Phases I and II, a SEMaC was developed and extended to a micro-grid community. In addition, an optimal configuration was determined for a single fuel cell power plant supplying power to a ten-home micro-grid community. In Phase III, the plan is to expand this work to fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods (mini-grid). The economic implications of hydrogen cogeneration will be investigated. These efforts are consistent with DOE’s mission to decentralize domestic electric power generation and to accelerate the onset of the hydrogen economy. A major challenge facing the routine implementation and use of a fuel cell based mini-grid is the varying electrical demand of the individual micro-grids, and, therefore, analyzing these issues is vital. Efforts are needed to determine the most appropriate means of implementing micro-grids and the costs and processes involved with their extended operation. With the development and availability of fuel cell based stand-alone power plants, an electrical mini-grid, encompassing several connected residential neighborhoods, has become a viable concept. A primary objective of this project is to define the parameters of an economically efficient fuel cell based mini-grid. Since pure hydrogen is not economically available in sufficient quantities at the present time, the use of reforming technology to produce and store excess hydrogen will also be investigated. From a broader perspective, the factors that bear upon the feasibility of fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods are similar to those pertaining to the electrification of a small town with a localized power generating station containing several conventional generating units. In the conventional case, the town or locality would also be connected to the larger grid system of the utility company. Therefore, in the case of the fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods, this option should also be available. The objectives of this research project are: To demonstrate that smart energy management of a fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhood can be efficient and cost-effective;To define the most economical micro-grid configuration; and, To determine how residential micro-grid connected fuel cell(s) can contribute to America's hydrogen energy future.

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  • Report No.: DoE/FC/36-04GO14243-3
  • Grant Number: FC36-04GO14243
  • DOI: 10.2172/885435 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 885435
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875510

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • March 15, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 6:41 p.m.

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Alam, Dr. Mohammad S. Smart Energy Management and Control for Fuel Cell Based Micro-Grid Connected Neighborhoods, report, March 15, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875510/: accessed July 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.