Publication Detail

Understanding the Design and Economics of Distributed Tri-Generation Systems for Home and Neighborhood Refueling—Part II: Neighborhood System Case Studies

UCD-ITS-RP-12-01

Reprint

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Suggested Citation:
Li, Xuping and Joan M. Ogden (2012) Understanding the Design and Economics of Distributed Tri-Generation Systems for Home and Neighborhood Refueling—Part II: Neighborhood System Case Studies. Journal of Power Sources 197, 186 - 195

The lack of a hydrogen infrastructure remains a major barrier for fuel cell vehicle (FCV) adoption. The high cost of an extensive hydrogen station network and the low utilization in the near term discourage private investment. Past experience of fuel infrastructure development for motor vehicles, indicates that innovative, distributed, small-volume hydrogen refueling methods may be required to refuel FCVs in the near term. Among small-volume refueling methods, home and neighborhood tri-generation systems stand out because the technology is available and has potential to alleviate consumer’s fuel availability concerns. Additionally, it has features attractive to consumers such as convenience and security to refuel at home or in their neighborhood.

In this paper, we study neighborhood tri-generation systems in multi-unit dwellings such as apartment complexes. We apply analytical tools including an interdisciplinary framework and an engineering/ economic model to a representative multi-family residence in the Northern California area. The simulation results indicate that a neighborhood tri-generation system improves the economics of providing the three energy products for the households compared with the two alternatives studied. The small capacity of the systems and the valuable co-products help address the low utilization problem of hydrogen infrastructure.

Keywords: hydrogen infrastructure, distributed, tri-generation, neighborhood refueling