Following the approval by the European Parliament of the directive on energy efficiency of public buildings, a great effort has\ud been directed towards enhancing low-emission systems such as fuel cells (FC), photovoltaic systems (PVS) or solar thermal systems\ud (STS), especially in all public facilities, such as hospitals, characterizedby relevant energy requirements. This paper develops a theoretical\ud analysis which focuses on the environmental benefits achievable through a shift from the conventional systems, normally\ud operating in hospitals, to various hybridplants. The model site is a hospital locatednear Ferrara (Italy). Several hybridschemes\ud were investigated and compared: PAFCs (phosporic acid fuel cells), STS and PVS. An energy analysis was developed for each option\ud assuming, as a benchmark, the conventional systems operating today in the medical center. The results, presented with reference to\ud the primary energy requirements and the pollutant emissions, demonstrate that in the case of existing systems being upgraded with\ud these hybridplants, overall emissions couldbe abatedwith a significant reduction in fossil energy consumption. Finally, an economic\ud study, even taking external factors into account, is developed for all the retrofit scenarios in terms of annual return, simple\ud payback periodand IRR
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