This paper examines the potential energy, environmental, and economic benefits of hydrogen-based distributed generation (DG) systems with dual application—commercial buildings and vehicle refueling. The selected DG systems incorporate fuel cell technologies for power generation and natural gas reformation for hydrogen production. In addition to basic systems, more advanced configurations facilitating heat recovery for the reformer and the building heating equipment are considered. Integration of stationary and transportation applications within the context of a commercial community is also explored on the premise of utilizing a joint hydrogen production facility for cost reduction. While appreciable improvement in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is evidently intrinsic to all selected stationary DG models, a significant reduction in the primary energy use is achieved with the more-advanced systems, particularly the one with internal heat recovery. A negligible impact on the water consumption is registered when water management is in place for the fuel cell systems. The integration strategy highlighting the community buildings as the surrogate supplier of hydrogen for vehicle refueling is more tenable from the economic standpoint than the reversed arrangement.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.