Politecnico di Torino (logo)

Techno-economic evaluation of SOFC-based cogeneration systems for the hospital sector

Francesco Accurso

Techno-economic evaluation of SOFC-based cogeneration systems for the hospital sector.

Rel. Massimo Santarelli, Marta Gandiglio. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare, 2019


This work has the aim to study the feasibility on a commercial scale, technical and economical, of the introduction of SOFC-based cogeneration systems to supply Hospitals with electricity and heat. Countries that have market with greatest potential are analysed, in USA and European areas. First part of this analysis focuses on a deep literature review, to define how many hospitals are distributed over the countries, and to describe the related energy consumption, analysing the daily profile and the energy intensity. Then, a techno-economic model is built to calculate the impact, over a period of 15 years, of the installation of SOFC system, based on the available data on the market and in literature. The model works in different configurations, to develop a broader range of results: various locations and economic environment can be chosen, considering current or target prices. A sensitivity analysis is performed, to study what are the parameters that most influence the results, and how any changes in the political-economic scenario (subsidies, inflation rate, prices) or in the technology performance (efficiency, degradation rate, technical lifetime) can lead to different assessment. Results show that the current cost of a commercial scale fuel cell is relatively high: in most cases it is preferable to meet the energy needs with electricity bought from the grid and to use a conventional methane boiler for heating. Indeed, investment cost is considerable, due to the early stage of development in this sector, and often it is not convenient compared to exploiting conventional systems for energy supply. Nevertheless, in countries such as Germany, Italy and UK (where electricity prices are among the highest in Europe), the option is yet advisable if supported by effective subsidies, and it could offer a competitive alternative. Industry projections suggest that as significant sales volumes are deployed, on the scale of ~ 5,000 ÷ 10,000 units per manufacturer, the capital and operational costs of the technology can allow commercial scale fuel cell CHP to become economically viable compared to traditional systems, with or without financing helps. This could be achieved by grouping a manageable network of customers with large estates who could fit units in a number of their buildings (hospitals, hotels, supermarkets): in this way it is possible to increase the exploitation of the technology on a large scale. Results obtained support these projections: considering a reduction in manufacturing cost of more than 50%, SOFC is the best option in most locations, both economically and in terms of environmental impact.

Relators: Massimo Santarelli, Marta Gandiglio
Academic year: 2018/19
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 73
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-30 - ENERGY AND NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/11305
Modify record (reserved for operators) Modify record (reserved for operators)