Recommendations for Future Work
This section presents four recommendations for future work.
The experimental system demonstrates low tri-generation efficiency. This is primarily due to poor electrical performance from the micro-tubular SOFC, and the thermal capacity being too small to produce significant regeneration, and thus cooling capacity. As a result, future work should focus on achieving an improved (thermal) match between the SOFC and liquid desiccant components. Additionally, more extensive tri-generation system testing should be conducted to further investigate the relationship between SOFC and liquid desiccant component operation on overall performance.
As highlighted in Chap. 2, system integration, optimisation and energy utilisation is not a large issue in theoretical or laboratory based projects, thus high system efficiencies have been reported. However in a real working environment, effective energy utilisation can pose a serious challenge to system performance, specifically how to maximise the utilisation of system energy outputs. The experimental system has been tested and evaluated in a laboratory setting. Future work should aim to integrate the tri-generation system in a building context to demonstrate and quantify the benefits of the system in a real operational setting. Potential building settings include: domestic homes, schools or offices that require electrical power, heating and dehumidification/cooling.
The nonsynchronous operation of the tri-generation system has been highlighted as a significant advantage of a SOFC liquid desiccant tri-generation system. Future work should aim to investigate experimentally the nonsynchronous operating concept and thermal energy storage in the form of concentrated desiccant solution in a building context. Demonstration and quantification of the benefits of the nonsynchronous operation concept will serve to increase the feasibility of the novel SOFC liquid desiccant tri-generation system.
The novel IDCS presented in Chap. 5 demonstrates the potential of integrated liquid desiccant air conditioning systems. Future work should focus on using the system evaluation data to improve the design to facilitate improved mass balance between the dehumidifier and regenerator. Furthermore, better sealing techniques to prevent desiccant solution leakage should be investigated. Improvements to the IDCS concept could permit the wider use of liquid desiccant air conditioning in tri-generation and building applications.
Section 9.3 has presented the recommendations for future work. Finally, Sect. 9.4 concludes the thesis by taking a step back, and discussing the wider context into which the developed tri-generation system may operate and thus contribute to.