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A technology comparison of standby building applications

Mellick, G.A. (2008) A technology comparison of standby building applications. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Selection of a standby generation technology is dependant upon a number of factors, not least of which is cost. This dissertation focuses on a comparison of technologies for selection of standby generation in a commercial medical facility. Located in Brisbane, Australia, The Transitional Research Institute (TRI) building will require large amounts of reliable power. A number of options were reviewed in two different scales, 60kW, and 1000kW.

Conventional technologies reviewed as part of this report include:- diesel generator, gas reciprocating engine, gas turbine, gas microturbine and battery storage systems. Fuel cell technologies reviewed include: - proton exchange membrane, phosphoric acid, molten carbonate and solid oxide.

A non-financial and financial comparison of the technologies was undertaken with the outcome being fuel cells are suitable for certain applications in the 60kW range, where they can replace large battery storage systems. However, they suffer from long start up times, and therefore are better suited for distributed generation with CHP.

The conventional technology most likely chosen for the 1000kW application would either be a diesel or gas driven generator set, based upon cost and technology maturity.

Fuel cells are an alternative technology for power generation that can be suited for a number of applications; however, for the TRI project, fuel cells are not appropriate due to the high capital cost involved.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): UNSPECIFIED
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