Simulation and Optimization of a Solar Based Trigeneration System Incorporating PEM Electrolyzer and Fuel Cell

Document Type : Original Article


1 Energy Engineering Department, Sharif University of Technology, Azadi Ave., Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dezful Branch, Islamic Azad University, Dezful, Iran

3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, West Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University West Tehran Branch, Iran


In addition to simultaneously supplying heat and electricity, CCHP systems also provide the cooling demand of the buildings. The input energy of this system can be supplied from renewable energy sources such as solar energy, geothermal energy and so on. Compared to conventional power generation systems, cogeneration systems have higher energy efficiency, lower pollutant production, and higher reliability. In this paper, a solar-powered CCHP system equipped with a PEM electrolyzer and fuel cell is simulated and optimized. The combination of the PEM electrolyzer and the fuel cell is used in order to provide sustainable heat and electricity. For this purpose, the electrical power produced in the cycle is converted to hydrogen by the electrolyzer as the demand for electricity is low and converted to electricity by the fuel cell when needed. The results of system optimization showed that energy efficiency and exergy efficiency increased by 22.32% and 8.61% in the first scenario, respectively. Moreover, the total cost rate of the system is reduced by 6.65% in the second scenario.