Quantification of Environmentally Sensitive Emissions by Substitution of Traditional Domestic Application Power Sources with Renewable Hydrogen Fuelled Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Combined Heat and Power

  • laura Stewart

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)


Climate change and its potentially harmful effects is a topic that is currently much talked about by politicians, industry leaders, environmentalists and the general public. Reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is one proposed solution that can slow or stop the effects of climate change. The UK produces carbon dioxide emissions totalling approximately 600 Megatonnes each year. Approximately 30% of this total is attributed to domestic energy provision.
Methods for reducing domestic energy carbon dioxide emissions include: increasing energy efficiency within homes, improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions in the national electrical grid network (including reducing emissions from power stations) and increasing use of renewable energy sources, both on large and small scales. Micro- CHP (combined heat and power) is proposed as one solution that could help domestic consumers to increase their fuel efficiency and therefore decrease carbon dioxide emissions. Further to this, renewable hydrogen is proposed as a clean, carbon free fuel, which can be used to provide energy to domestic consumers via fuel cells, which can be configured to micro-CHP outputs.
This thesis provides the results from a modelling tool that has been developed in order to quantify the potential emissions savings from deployment of micro-CHP devices in domestic households in the UK. The results in the differences in carbon emissions, when traditional domestic energy systems have been substituted with micro-CHP devices, have been variable, with some micro-CHP units producing more emissions than the current UK system. However, deployment of a prototype solid oxide fuel cell micro-CHP unit, using renewable hydrogen fuel, results in a significant reduction in carbon emissions. This is mainly because the only emission from the unit is water.
Date of Award27 Apr 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Edinburgh
SponsorsESF studentship
SupervisorJohn McClatchey (Supervisor), Daniel Aklil (Supervisor) & Daniel Watson (Supervisor)

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