Installation and performance analysis of Thermapower™ 125MT Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) System for recovery of waste heat from an existing Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) plant are presented. Over the last three years, about 100 MWe of new FC stationary power plants are in operation in Korea and more FC stationary power plants are on order and planned. The success of these fuel cell plants is their capability to supply both electricity and heat to customers. In order to promote renewable energy in Korea, the Korean Government is enforcing large power plants to supply electricity generated by renewable energy. The Korea Power Exchange (KPX) buys fuel cell generated electricity as renewable energy with higher price than other fossil fuel power plants .
Most of these FC plants supply electricity to power companies with their full capability, however valuable heat is wasted due to the limited demand, especially in summer season and off working hours or lack of heat pipe infrastructures. Due to the recent decrease in electricity price for renewable energy in Korea, the need for efficient utilization of waste heat is ever more demanding.
In this study, 125 kWe ORC system is installed to 11.2 MWe FC power plant to demonstrate cost saving benefits. This FC Power plant has 4 units of 2.8 MWe fuel cell in operation and has capacity of producing 6.0 ton/h of 167°C steam. In order to install an ORC system to existing FC plant, their Balance of Plant (BoP) has to be modified since only excess steam is allow to be utilized by the ORC system, after supplying steam to their prime customer. Furthermore, site has distinctly hot and cold seasons, thus affecting condensing conditions and therefore ORC performance. Design considerations to accommodate varying ambient conditions as well as steam flow rate variation are presented and discussed.