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Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2395; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072395

A Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)-Based Biogas-from-Waste Generation System for Residential Buildings in China: A Feasibility Study

1
Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong 518000, China
2
Department of Building, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore 637551, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clean Waste to Energy)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: distributed-energy resources; distributed waste-treatment systems; building waste to energy distributed-energy resources; distributed waste-treatment systems; building waste to energy
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Wang, Q.; Wei, H.-H.; Xu, Q. A Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)-Based Biogas-from-Waste Generation System for Residential Buildings in China: A Feasibility Study. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2395.

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