Recent studies have shown the possibility of obtaining extremely high electric efficiencies in distributed electric power generation with small capacity advanced plants based upon the combined technologies of solid oxide fuel cells and microturbines. This paper investigates the potential energy savings achievable by the application of this novel technology to cogeneration.
Due to the high electrical efficiency of these systems (approaching 65% LHV), their heat/electricity ratio is unusually low. The addition of a heat pump can dramatically increase the heat/electricity ratio as well as add flexibility to the system. The application of these systems to distributed electricity generation connected to residential heating is discussed. Detailed results are presented, in terms of annual energy balances; they indicate high primary energy savings and reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide.