In the latest edition of Building Services News (p.60-61) , Tom Houghton gives a viewpoint on the development of fuel cells for CHP applications in the commercial sector. Fuel cells can already offer improvements to air quality in the built environment and can increase efficiency across both power production and heat under the right conditions. Large scale deployment of stationary fuel cells in Japan have helped bring down capital costs and there are strong indicators that this trajectory will continue as improvements are made in manufacturing and automation. Challenges remain in terms of matching electricity and heat demand in order to maximise the available benefits and with stack reliability and durability, but fuel cell CHP is an increasingly interesting option for commercial property owners.
(Image credit: pace-energy.eu)