The mechanism models of solid oxide fuel cell–gas turbine (SOFC-GT) systems are very useful to analyze the thermodynamic performance details, including the internal complex transfers of mass, heat, and electrochemical processes. However, several physical-property parameters in the mechanism model are unmeasurable and difficult to accurately quantify from the operation data when the inevitable degradation occurs. As a result, it is difficult for the mechanism model to accurately capture the SOFC electrochemical characteristic during the full operating cycle. In this paper, a model evolution method based on hybrid modeling technology is proposed to address this problem. A hybrid modeling framework of a SOFC-GT system is designed by combining a least squares-support vector machine algorithm (LS-SVM) electrochemical model with our previous mechanism model. The electrochemical characteristic of SOFC is easily identified and evolved by re-training the LS-SVM model from operating data, no longer needing a mechanism electrochemical model. The validated full-mechanism model from our previous work is taken to simulate a physical SOFC-GT system to generate the operating data. Various LS-SVM models are trained by different data sets. The comparison results demonstrate that the LS-SVM model trained by large size data set 3 performs the highest accuracy in predicting the local current density. The maximum absolute error of prediction is only about 1.379 A/m2, and the prediction MSE of the normalized test data reaches 4.36×10−9. Then the LS-SVM hybrid model is applied to evaluate the thermodynamic performance of a SOFC-GT system. The comparison results between the hybrid model and our previous full-mechanism model show that the hybrid model can accurately predict the SOFC-GT system performance. The maximum error is 1.97% at the design condition, and 0.60% at off-design conditions. Therefore, the LS-SVM hybrid model is significant to accurately identify the real electrochemical characteristic from operation data for a physical SOFC-GT system during the full operation cycle.

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