Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are attractive emerging energy conversion devices. Particularly, SOFC electrochemically react fuel and oxygen to generate electricity efficiently with ultra low pollutant emissions. For SOFC systems to be widely utilized in the future, SOFC will have to be effectively integrated with a wide array of energy resources and conversion devices including base-loaded nuclear and coal as well as renewables. Load following generators and/or energy storage will be required to manage intermittent renewables. Base-loaded fuel cell systems (i.e., present day SOFCs) that use potentially dispatchable fuel resources will be increasingly difficult to market. Fuel generators such as SOFCs that can load follow with ultra-low emissions will become increasingly attractive, particularly in future grid scenarios with increased renewables. Simulations results are shown in the paper that demonstrates the intermittent challenge of renewables and the potential for SOFC systems to provide load following capability. SOFCs have the potential to be very attractive load following generators which achieve high efficiencies at part load with low emissions. Research and development is needed to understand solid oxide fuel cell system and control development to minimize dynamics that can degrade the fuel cell during load following. Understanding of degradation of optimally controlled fuel cell is needed to fully understand the true potential of SOFC systems in future grids with increased intermittent renewable penetration.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.