To improve the energy efficiency and achieve zero-net energy goals, as well as to reduce environmental impacts, we demonstrated and evaluated the use of a 1.5 kW Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) with Micro-combined heat and power (Micro-CHP) for powering residential homes.

In this study, we designed, tested and demonstrated an SOFC Micro-CHP system as a Distributed Generation (DG) prime mover that has high reliability and availability, high efficiency and ultra-low emissions for steady state operation. Energy balances and dynamic analyses of integrating a thermal storage system with the SOFC Micro-CHP system were carried out using a summer load profile of a residence in Southern California. The thermal storage system was found to mitigate the dynamics introduced from the electric water heater and smooth out the residential load profile. Additionally, the integrated thermal storage system and the SOFC Micro-CHP system was found to reduce the overall electricity import and thus the carbon emissions.

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