Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Hybrid Systems as a Distributed Cogeneration Solution

Zanetich, Nikolas (2020) Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Hybrid Systems as a Distributed Cogeneration Solution. [USQ Project]

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This paper is on the topic of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Hybrid Systems as a Distributed Cogeneration Solution. Broadly, the key outcomes of this paper aim to understand the hybrid system solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology combined with micro gas turbine (mGT) plant. To achieve this, research was collated in the Background Information section on the fundamentals of the solid oxide fuel cell variant, interconnected cells that form stacks, stack level operating principles, relevant fuel types and the system’s fuel-flexibility. An overview of gas turbine technology and the principles underpinning operation, and finally hybrid system formed including research into coupling (physical, electrical and thermal) and start-up process of the complete hybrid system was completed.

The Methodology was developed in two parts. The first Methodology section demonstrates the system advantages in the context of environmental metrics such as plant/fuel efficiencies, timeof-use, start-up timing and emissions. These are highlighted as key advantages by means of comparison drawn from other relevant generation systems, such as photovoltaic, coal-fired, combined cycle gas turbine and conventional large gas turbine plant. In the second part of the methodology, the system is specified and modelled against defined load and supply factors that affect resulting assessment of the utilisation of this system in the two applications.

The Result and Discussion section demonstrates the key outcomes of the Methodology in the context of the Background Information section. Briefly, these include highlighting the efficiency increases that result from combining the SOFC plant with mGT plant, approximated as an increase from 30% as a stand-alone SOFC system, to 55% net electrical efficiency for the SOFC/mGT hybrid (Section 3.2.1), not including further benefits of recuperating thermal energy from the output of the plant as considered in Section 3.4 within ‘Application to UseCases’. Also, the competitive 40 minute start-up time for the SOFC/mGT system (Section 3.2.2) and non-restricted time-of-use advantages (Section 3.2.3) are highlighted. Finally, figures accounting for emissions factors within fuel types combined with plant efficiencies highlighted overall low emissions for the SOFC/mGT as modelled in Section 3.2.4. The results of the second part of the Methodology are detailed within Section 4.0 to assess how the SOFC/mGT system is integrated in hypothetical use-cases, noting assumptions made regarding load and supply factors to achieve this.

The sections of the paper, inclusive of all research, modelling and analysis of results, as detailed, support the original aims of the project in terms of understanding the utilisation of highly efficient SOFC/mGT hybrid plant in context to its application as a distributed cogeneration solution. While this system is in early stages as both the Limitations and Further Work section discuss, this particular hybrid may form part of the future energy generation and distribution landscape, with key peak-reduction and time-shift advantages evident.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Bowtell, Les
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical and Electronic)
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2021 01:22
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 04:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: gas turbine technology, hybrid system, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), micro gas turbine (mGT) plant

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