This study presents some of the experiences gained during a two year operational period of a decentralized fuel cell cogeneration plant installed in southern Sweden. Various modifications to the system are described, most notably a plume eliminator for the reduction of an undesirable vapor cloud emitted by the original system. Aside from vapor cloud elimination, the plume eliminator allows for more efficient plant operation, as a larger fraction of the system cooling requirements can be shifted to the district heating system. In-field measurements show a 17 to 26% increase in district heat production with use of the plume eliminator, depending upon the season of operation (winter or summer). The study also presents two options for added heat recovery, which are employed in conjunction with the plume eliminator: an air preheater module; and an air preheater/humidifier module. Calculations show that air preheating has a small but measurable impact on heat recovery (an additional 8% gain), while combined air preheating and humidification allows for nearly a 50% increase in district heat production.

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