Fuel Cell–Gas Turbine (FC-GT) hybrid technology portends a significant breakthrough in electrical generation. Hybrid systems reach unprecedented high efficiencies, above 70% LHV in some instances, with little to no pollution, and great scalability. This work investigates two high temperature fuel cell types with potential for hybrid application ranging from distributed generation to central plant scales; sub MW to 100MW. A new library of dynamic model components was developed and used to conceptualize and test several hybrid cycle configurations. This paper outlines a methodology for optimal scaling of balance of plant components used in any particular hybrid system configuration to meet specified design conditions. The optimization strategy is constrained to meet component performance limitations and incorporates dynamic testing and controllability analysis. This study investigates seven different design parameters and confirms that systems requiring less cathode recirculation and producing a greater portion of the total power in the fuel cell achieve higher efficiencies. Design choices that develop operation of the fuel cell at higher voltages increase efficiency, often at the cost of lower power density and greater stack size and cost. This work finds existing SOFC technology can be integrated with existing gas turbine and steam turbine technology in a hybrid system approaching 75% fuel to electricity conversion efficiency in optimized FC-GT hybrid configurations.

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