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.
- 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