Technoeconomic modelling and environmental assessment of a modern PEMFC CHP system: a case study of an eco-house at University of Nottingham

  • Sheng SuiEmail author
  • Rizwan RasheedEmail author
  • Qinglin Li
  • Yuehong Su
  • Saffa Riffat
Research Article


This simulation study is aimed to model a contemporary Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) CHP system having a ‘heat and power’ autonomy as well as a provision of demand-driven electrical supply to the grid. A novel nanowire-electrode PEMFC stack is adopted within this PEMFC CHP system so to effectively replace the existing natural gas fuelled durable solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) CHP system installed at David Wilson Millennium Eco-house at University of Nottingham. The energy savings, environmental, and economic performances of the proposed PEMFC system are determined and compared to the base case (SOFC) which is operated continuously to maintain a 1.5 kWe. While to meetup the highly fluctuating and seasonal demands of heating and power like in the UK, a PEMFC is more productive and advantageous over a SOFC. The proposed PEMFC unlike to the SOFC will be able to operate and adjust its output and turn down instantly as per changing conditions of ambient temperatures and loads in terms of electricity and heat. The results of the modelling predicted that as compared to the base case scenario, this PEMFC CHP system will efficiently reduce an annual CO2 emission by 65.99% and fiscal costs by 66.74% with a viable internal rate of return as 8.93% and benefit to cost ratio as 1.02.


Environmental and economic analysis Fuel cell CHP Techno-economic modelling Heat and power autonomy Pt catalyst loading 


Funding information

This work is supported by European Commissions Marie Sktodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (IF-EF) (H2020-MSCA-IF-2014, Grant no. 658217) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 21576164). The authors are supported by Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Pakistan for the Postdoc Fellowship Award (Letter No. PHEC/A&R/FPDF/1-33/2018), GC University Lahore Pakistan, and University of Nottingham.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture and Built EnvironmentUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Institute of Fuel CellsShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Sustainable Development Study CentreGC University LahoreLahorePakistan

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