Some CHP Equipment on the Market Today

posted Mar 5, 2014, 11:27 AM by Kay Mann
Heat Storage Tanks

Hydroflex equipment is made for individually designed installations; no “turn key” products. Standard heat storage tanks fit through standard doorways and are a good fit for solar thermal systems as well as combined heat and power systems. They are constructed with two layers of 1” polyisocyanurate foil faced insulation, embossed aluminum which acts as the structural skin, and an EPDM liner. XR tanks and constructed with extra insulation and offer a greater R value. Both models of tanks range from 100 gallon to 5,000 gallons. System diagrams are on their website.

Heat Exchangers

Hydroflex equipment is made for individually designed installations; no “turn key” products.  Type L soft copper heat exchanger coils in ¾” and 1” diameter; transfer energy rate: 250 Btu/ft to 950 Btu/ft. Also 316L stainless pipe, thinner walls greater surface area but lower transfer rates. Also brazed plate heat exchanges on custom order. 

Fuel Cell Power Plants

Fuel Cell Energy sells “Direct Fuel Cell” (DFC®)  CHP systems for electricity and heat suitable for making steam or additional electricity if not all heat is needed for steam. DFC uses a molten carnonate (potassium and lithium carbonate electrolyte) fuel cell. DFC systems use natural gas and “reform” the gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide with trace levels of oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur and particulates. DFC system are available in 2.8 MW. 1.4 MW, 300 kW, and “multi-megawatt” sizes. The 300 kW system has a 600 sq ft footprint and is recommended by the manufacturer for food & beferage processing plants, manufacturing facilities, hospitals and universities.

BlueGen is a micro CHP delivering 36 kWh of electricity and about 50 gallons of hot water per day. It is almost “plug and play” and is the size of a washing machine. It uses a solid oxide fuel cell running on natural gas. Sales in North America are through Ceramic Fuels Cells, an Australian Company whose sales effort here appears to be in its infancy.  As to tomorrow’s CHP products, keep an eye on Gennex.

Clear Edge: this company’s Pure Edge Model 5 is a 5kW of electricity,  21,000 btu/hour of heat unit that is sold with an installation and service package that includes remote monitoring.  The heat is described by Clear Edge as “low” grade heat that can be utilized in boilers, pools, hot tubs, radiant flooring and space heating.  They also sell the model 400 a 400kW/ 1.5m Btu/hour device, Both systems use phosphoric acid fuel cells running on natural gas.  

*This information was posted by Kay Mann for Rick Smith, President of the Hydrogen Energy Center.