On Sat, 5 Jun 1999 13:24:10 -0700 (PDT) Eugene Leitl
>Ron Kean writes:
>On the other hand, in Germany there is a trend to build small-scale
>(10..50 home units, or a communal pool) natural-gas driven electricity
>generators which also utilize thermal power for heating purposes.
>With compact methane fuel cells yet to profit from economies of scale
>there is no reason why every home couldn't create it's own heat and
I admit that one advantage of generating electricity on site is that there are no transmission losses, and no loss of reliability due to transmission failures.
> > All systems which produce electrical power from fuel generate lots
>of waste heat. The thermal efficiency of the best coal-fired power
>Correction: all Carnot-cycle based machines. Electrochemical energy
>generation can in principle run at room temperature. Most
>polymer-electrolyt fuel cells run around ~100 deg C for ensure
>sufficient reaction kinetics.
Touche. I should have said 'All practical systems which produce electrical power by burning fuel at high temperatures to run heat engines, generate lots of waste heat.'