Hybrid PSOFC/GT cycles consisting of pressurized solid oxide fuel cells integrated into gas turbine cycles are emerging as a major new power generation concept. These hybrid cycles can potentially offer thermal efficiencies exceeding 70% along with significant reductions in greenhouse gas and NOX emissions. This paper considers the PSOFC/GT cycle in terms of electrical and mechanical power generation with particular focus on gas pipeline companies interested in diversifying their assets into distributed electric generation or lowering pollutant emissions while more efficiently transporting natural gas. By replacing the conventional GT combustion chamber with an internally reformed PSOFC, electrical power is generated as a by-product while hot gases exiting the fuel cell are diverted into the gas turbine for mechanical power. A simple one-dimensional thermodynamic model of a generic PSOFC/GT cycle has shown that overall thermal efficiencies of 65% are attainable, whilst almost tripling the specific work (i.e. energy per unit mass of air). The main finding of this paper is that the amount of electric power generated ranges from 60–80% of the total power available depending on factors such as the system pressure ratio and degree of supplementary firing before the gas turbine. Ultimately, the best cycle should be based on the “balance of plant”, which considers factors such as life cycle cost analysis, business and market focus, and environmental emission issues.

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