Fuel Cell is widely regarded as a potential alternative in the electric utility due to its distinct advantages of high energy conversion efficiency, low environmental impact and flexible uses of fuel types. In this paper we demonstrate the enhancement of thermal efficiency and power density of the power plant system by incorporating a hybrid cycle of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) and gas turbine with appropriate configurations. In this paper, a hybrid system composed of SOFC, gas turbine, compressor and high temperature heat exchanger is developed and simulated in the Virtual Test Bed (VTB) computational environment. The one-dimensional tubular SOFC model is based on the electrochemical and thermal modeling, accounting for the voltage losses and temperature dynamics. The single cell is discretized using a finite volume method where all the governing equations are solved for each finite volume. Simulation results show that the SOFC-GT hybrid system could achieve a 70% total electrical efficiency (LHV) and an electrical power output of 853KW, around 30% of which is produced by the power turbine. Two conventional power plant systems, i.e. gas turbine recuperative cycle and pure Fuel Cell power cycle, are also simulated for the performance comparison to validate the improved performance of Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine hybrid system. Finally, the dynamic behavior of the hybrid system is presented and analyzed based on the system simulation.

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