LIFE Environment funds have been used by Dalkia Ile de France in cooperation with the Paris Public Housing Office to demonstrate the effectiveness of fuel cell technology as an environmentally-friendly source of heat and electricity for residential areas.
High temperature fuel cells offer a simple, environmentally friendly, effective and safe solution for combined heat and power generation. In a fuel cell, hydrogen reacts on a negative terminal and oxygen reacts on a positive terminal. The elements are separated by an ion-conducting material called an electrolyte and the reactions that occur generate the electricity and heat.
Fuel cells offer high efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, minimal mechanical wear and tear, no noise and no vibrations. Despite these environmental and socio-economic advantages, fuel cell technology is not yet widely used in the EU and this is in part attributed to a lack of awareness about fuel cell opportunities. Manufacturers of the fuel cells believe that more practical demonstration projects will help increase fuel cell utility, and a pioneering Parisian LIFE project set out to achieve this by testing fuel cell technology’s potential as a suitable energy source for a public housing complex.
LIFE’s ‘Cellia’ project (LIFE04 ENV/FR/000331) installed a high temperature fuel cell in a boiler-house for a 283 home, city-centre apartment building. In addition to providing the residents with electricity and heat, the LIFE project also aimed to reduce the amount of CO2 released by thermal installations and advance knowledge of energy control issues in urban centres.
In November 2006, the City of Paris inaugurated Cellia and by the end of March 2008 the Celia fuel cell had generated 806 MWh of electricity and nearly 374 MWh of heat. The application of this innovative system to power public housing is a first in France, and Europe as a whole, and LIFE’s support has helped to demonstrate the technical feasibility of this forward-looking solution.
Results support the fuel cell’s environmental credentials, because the Cellia system emits no NOx and produces 30% less CO2 on average than a traditional combined cycle gas boiler and steam turbine. Furthermore, all SOx emissions are averted since the fuel cell traps sulphur compounds in activated carbon filters when the natural gas is channelled into the power plant.Cellia weights 28 Metric tons
Exhausts produced were generally in line with expectations and complied with initial specifications. Overall, Cellia has been shown to generate clean, low cost steady heat (reducing heating costs by 10% on average through the re-sale of electricity) in a way that is compatible with sustainable urban development.
Whilst the initial net electrical efficiency still exceeded 41%, the system performed slightly below the manufacturer’s specifications during the pilot phases. However, fine-tuning of the fuel cell is anticipated to bring the power plant up to its target performance levels.
ZDROJ: EU LIFE program, kráceno