A start-up test rig at TPG laboratory at the University of Genoa, Italy, has been designed and built for two main purposes: physically simulating different early start-up layout and procedures of high temperature fuel cell hybrid systems, and validating time-dependent hybrid system models based on TRANSEO software. Since start-up is a critical operating phase for high temperature fuel cell hybrid systems, and it may require specific modifications to the hybrid system layout, the start-up test rig is meant to be very flexible for testing several start-up layouts as well as the coupling of different turbomachines and stacks. Results for cold test, 700°C and 950°C start-up combustor outlet temperature tests are reported. Such results show the pressure and temperature quick rise during the early phase of start-up, which could represent an issue for the mechanical and thermal stress to the stack. A dynamic model of the test rig was built up and validated showing good agreement with the experimental results. This achievement was very useful to increase the confidence with predictive dynamic simulation tools during the start-up phase, where experimental data are hardly available and where the fuel cell materials may undergo risky thermal shocks.

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