A normalized, general approach for determining the combined performance of a hybrid turbine-fuel cell cogeneration system with a renewable energy source, such as a solar thermal system is presented. The hybrid-cogeneration system provides required electric power as well as satisfying simultaneous heating loads. In this paper a system level analysis that includes practical values of heat exchangers, pumps, and storage equipment is presented. The use of the ratio of the thermal load to required power parameter (HLRP), which has been previously used by the authors to scale energy systems, allows the performance to be quickly determined and preliminary carbon dioxide production rates and cost effects to be estimated. The present paper will focus on a solar thermal system as renewable energy to illustrate the development of this technique and its integration with the hybrid fuel cell cogeneration system. Practical values of solar collector efficiency and storage tank efficiency are included. The analysis will focus on matching the transient characteristics of the power and thermal loads with those of the renewable energy system. Performance measures used to evaluate the investigated designs include the energy utilization factor and the carbon dioxide produced per unit power output. The information provided by the performance graphs can be used to estimate costs for each system and to easily determine which system is the most efficient for satisfying energy requirements and reducing green house gas emissions. The results provide site planners and physical plant operators with initial information that can be used to design new facilities or effectively integrate large plant expansion that include renewable energy systems in a manner that will minimize energy requirements and reduce pollution effects.

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