Feasibility of An Energy Efficient Fuel Cell Hybrid Lift: the Main Concept and Design

S. Kaczmarczyk J, Blaszczyk and H. Lei and R. Smith

Wednesday 23rd September 2020

The latest progress in Fuel Cell (FC) technologies have led to rapid developments in ground vehicle transportation. These technologies could also be considered for deployment in vertical transportation (VT) systems. This paper presents a feasibility study concerning the application of a reversible fuel cell power supply for a solar panel powered lift system operating in a high-rise building. It is assumed that all energy needed to power the elevator system will originate from the solar panels. Energy needed for operation at the low-irradiation periods will be generated from the Hydrogen stored in medium-pressure tanks. The Hydrogen will be produced in a Unitized Reversible Fuel Cell (URFC). When the Grid access is possible the grid will provide emergency power for peak operations or for longer periods of low solar panels output. The URFC unit shall operate in a tandem with a lithium-ion battery, while the size of URFC and battery shall be optimized for overall system minimum cost. The overall conclusion is that the grid-independent lift energy supply system is possible, however the cost and space requirements are major limitations in the seasonal energy storage in Hydrogen form.

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