Eco-Friendly Heating and Cooling System Developed With Solid Oxide Fuel Cells by SK Ecoplant

By September 21, 2023 2   min read  (410 words)

September 21, 2023 |

2023 09 21 11 01 28

innovative Heating-Cooling System Uses Fuel Cell Exhaust Heat.

An innovative heating and cooling system that harnesses the inherent high temperatures of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) has been developed. The newly patented ‘integrated absorption heating and cooling system’, which uses the exhaust heat from fuel cells, offers a more environmentally friendly and efficient solution.

The traditional systems relied on fossil fuels like gas and oil. However, this innovative technology repurposes the waste heat generated by the fuel cells, presenting a sustainable alternative. The system produces cold water at 7℃ using fuel cell exhaust gas, which ranges between 300-400℃, and is used to cool buildings.

Absorption-based heating and cooling systems operate under a unique principle, causing water to boil at lower temperatures by manipulating pressure. This approach is not only energy-efficient but also reduces the environmental footprint.

Commonly found in centrally air-conditioned facilities like hospitals, shopping centers, and office buildings, the absorption systems are typically powered by hot water and fossil fuels. The new system, however, capitalizes on previously wasted fuel cell exhaust gas.

The company is already recognized for its prowess in energy, having developed the first SOFC heat recovery system and demonstrating carbon capture from fuel cell exhaust gas. By combining various technologies, they plan to adapt to future energy mandates, focusing on distributed energy and clean hydrogen power generation.

Implementation plans for the new system are already underway, with test runs expected to complete early next year. The current data indicates that the system can power multiple air conditioners, sufficient for a year-round temperature-regulated server room. Moving forward, the company aims to install the system in all large fuel cell power plants to cater to cooling and heating needs.

This innovative system holds promise, especially for facilities like data centers and smart farms, where stable power and consistent temperatures are crucial. For data centers, cooling consumes a significant portion of energy costs, making this technology a potential game-changer. Additionally, smart farms can benefit from year-round temperature control, promoting off-season crop growth. The carbon dioxide from the fuel cell exhaust can also be utilized.

A senior executive at the company shared, “This strategic use of fuel cell arrays can lead to significant cost savings and act as an alternative to fossil fuels for cooling and heating.” He further emphasized the company’s commitment to leading in the export of advanced fuel cell technologies and its applications.



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