Abstract

In this study, an islanded microgrid system is proposed that integrates identical stacks of solid oxide fuel cell and electrolyzer to achieve a thermally self-sustained energy storage system. Thermal management of the SOEC is achieved by use of heat from the SOFC with a heat exchanger network and control strategies. While the SOFC meets the building electricity demand and heat from its electrochemical reactions is transferred to the SOEC for endothermic heat and standby demands. Each component is physically modelled in Simulink and ultimately integrated at the system level for dynamic analyses. The current work simulates a system comprised of a wind farm in Palm Springs, CA coupled with the SOEC (for H2 generation), and an industrial building powered by the SOFC. Results from two-weeks of operation using measured building and wind data showed that despite fluctuating power profiles, average temperature and local temperature gradients of both the SOEC and SOFC were within desired tolerances. However, for severe conditions of wind power deficit, H2 had to be supplied from previous windy days' storage or imported.

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