The application of high temperature fuel cells in stationary power generation seems to be one of the possible solutions to the problem related to the environment preservation and to the growing interest for distributed electric power generation. Great expectations have been placed on both simple and hybrid fuel cell plants, thus making necessary the evolution of analysis strategies to evaluate thermodynamic performance, design improvements and acceleration of new developments. This paper investigates the thermodynamic potential of combining traditional internal combustion energy systems (i.e. gas turbine and internal combustion engine) with a Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) for medium and low-scale electrical power production with low CO2 emissions. The coupling is performed by placing the fuel cell at the exhaust of the thermal engine. As in MCFCs the oxygen-charge carrier in the electrolyte is the carbonate ion, part of the CO2 in the gas turbine flue gas is moved to the anode and then separated by steam condensation. Plant performance are evaluated in function of different parameters to identify optimal solutions. The results show that the proposed power system can be conveniently used as a source of power generation.

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