Heat Exchangers for Fuel Cell and Hybrid System Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
L. Magistri, A. Traverso

TPG-DiMSET, Università di Genova, Genoa, Italy

A. F. Massardo

TPG-DiMSET, Università di Genova, Genoa, Italymassardo@unige.it

R. K. Shah

 Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New Yorkrkseme@rit.edu

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 3(2), 111-118 (Oct 07, 2005) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2173665 History: Received May 29, 2005; Revised October 07, 2005

The fuel cell system and fuel cell gas turbine hybrid system represent an emerging technology for power generation because of its higher energy conversion efficiency, extremely low environmental pollution, and potential use of some renewable energy sources as fuels. Depending upon the type and size of applications, from domestic heating to industrial cogeneration, there are different types of fuel cell technologies to be employed. The fuel cells considered in this paper are mainly the molten carbonate (MCFC) and the solid oxide (SOFC) fuel cells, while a brief overview is provided about the proton exchange membrane (PEMFC). In all these systems, heat exchangers play an important and critical role in the thermal management of the fuel cell itself and the boundary components, such as the fuel reformer (when methane or natural gas is used), the air preheating, and the fuel cell cooling. In this paper, the impact of heat exchangers on the performance of SOFC, MCFC gas turbine hybrid systems and PEMFC systems is investigated. Several options in terms of cycle layout and heat exchanger technology are discussed from the on-design, off-design and control perspectives. A general overview of the main issues related to heat exchangers performance, cost and durability is presented and the most promising configurations identified.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Simplified layout of an atmospheric high temperature fuel cell-gas turbine hybrid system

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Figure 2

Fuel cell efficiency, system efficiency, and operating temperatures versus HTHE effectiveness (atmospheric system)

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Figure 3

Simplified layout of a pressurized high temperature fuel cell-gas turbine hybrid system

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Figure 4

Fuel cell efficiency, system efficiency, and operating temperatures versus recuperator effectiveness (pressurized system)

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Figure 5

Specific work versus compressor pressure ratio for different power plant (4)

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Figure 9

Picture of Bowman TG45 installed for testing at ENEL Produzione Centro Ricerche, Livorno (courtesy of ENEL)

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Figure 8

Conceptual organization of TRANSEO, and interaction with MATLAB-Simulink

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Figure 7

Hybrid plant and micro gas turbine efficiencies versus nondimensional power (actual power/design power %) at mgt variable speed (14)

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Figure 6

MCFC hybrid system scheme (focus is on the air path and control valves)




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