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Research Papers

Hybrid System Test Rig: Start-up and Shutdown Physical Emulation

[+] Author and Article Information
Mario L. Ferrari

 Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Limited, Charnwood Building, Holywell Park, Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK LE11 3GRmario.ferrari@rrfcs.com

Matteo Pascenti

Thermochemical Power Group (TPG)—DiMSET, Università di Genova, Genova 16145, Italymatteo.pascenti@unige.it

Loredana Magistri

Thermochemical Power Group (TPG)—DiMSET, Università di Genova, Genova 16145, Italyloredana.magistri@unige.it

Aristide F. Massardo

Thermochemical Power Group (TPG)—DiMSET, Università di Genova, Genova 16145, Italymassardo@unige.it

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(2), 021005 (Jan 05, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3176663 History: Received January 25, 2008; Revised March 31, 2009; Published January 05, 2010; Online January 05, 2010

The University of Genoa (TPG) has designed and developed an innovative test rig for high temperature fuel cell hybrid system physical emulation. It is based on the coupling of a modified commercial 100 kW recuperated micro gas turbine to a special modular volume designed for the experimental analysis of the interaction between different dimension fuel cell stacks and turbomachines. This new experimental approach that generates reliable results as a complete test rig also allows investigation of high risk situations with more flexibility without serious and expensive consequences to the equipment and at a very low cost compared with real hybrid configurations. The rig, developed with the support of the European Integrated Project “FELICITAS,” is under exploitation and improvement in the framework of the new European Integrated Project “LARGE-SOFC” started in January 2007. The layout of the system (connecting pipes, valves, and instrumentation) was carefully designed to minimize the pressure loss between compressor outlet and turbine inlet to have the highest plant flexibility. Furthermore, the servocontrolled valves are useful for performing tests at different operative conditions (i.e., pressures, temperatures, and pressure losses), focusing the attention on surge and thermal stress prevention. This work shows the preliminary data obtained with the machine connected to the volume for the test rig safe management to avoid surge or excessive stress, especially during the critical operative phases (i.e., start-up and shutdown). Finally, the attention is focused on the valve control system developed to emulate the start-up and shutdown phases for high temperature fuel cell hybrid systems. It is necessary to manage the flows in the connecting pipes, including an apt recuperator bypass, to perform a gradual heating up and cooling down as requested during these phases. It is an essential requirement to avoid thermal stress for the fuel cell stack. For this reason, during the start-up, the volume is gradually heated by the compressor outlet flow followed by a well managed recuperator outlet flow and vice versa for the shutdown. Furthermore, operating with a constant rotational speed control system, the machine load is used to reach higher temperature values typical of these kinds of systems.

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Figures

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Figure 1

The T100 power module except the power electronics and the control system

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Figure 2

The T100 power module modifications for the fuel cell coupling

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Figure 3

The connection pipes

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Figure 6

The modified microturbine equipped with the direct connection

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Figure 7

Preliminary tests: rotational speed

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Figure 8

Preliminary tests: net electrical power and turbine outlet temperature

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Figure 9

Shutdown phase on compressor map: volume/no volume

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Figure 10

Valve position control system scheme (internal loop)

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Figure 11

Temperature control system scheme (external loop)

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Figure 12

Volume inlet temperature during the hybrid system start-up and shutdown emulation

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Figure 13

Valve fractional opening values and machine load during the hybrid system start-up and shutdown emulation

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Figure 14

Volume outlet temperature during the hybrid system start-up and shutdown emulation

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Figure 4

Plant layout and instrumentation

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Figure 5

The modular volume connected to the machine

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