A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)-based biogas-from-waste generation system for residential buildings in China: A feasibility study

Qiancheng Wang, Hsi Hsien Wei, Qian Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The building sector consumes a great deal of energy and generates organic waste, and thus has been a cause of considerable environmental concern. One distributed-energy technique, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)-based biogas-from-waste generation, has shown promise for waste treatment as well as energy saving in buildings. This study proposes a high-efficiency cooling, heating and electricity-generation system with an SOFC-absorption water-cooled tri-generation configuration. Operations data from a typical high-rise commercial building in Shanghai were analyzed as a case study of the proposed system's economic, environmental, and social feasibility in China. The results indicated that its economic performance was satisfactory, with a short payback period of less than one year if subsidized. Additionally, the system was found to achieve high efficiency: i.e., 85%, as compared to approximately 40% achieved by conventional combustion-powered systems. Finally, in terms of social feasibility, survey respondents not only expressed positive overall attitudes towards the application of the system, but also raised concerns about its long-term operating costs. Given that foreseeable technological advancements promise greater flexibility and reduced space requirements, these results imply that the proposed integrated SOFC multi-generation system will be well-suited to future infrastructure and building projects in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2395
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Building waste to energy
  • Distributed waste-treatment systems
  • Distributed-energy resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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