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Research Papers

Fuel Composition Transients in Fuel Cell Turbine Hybrid for Polygeneration Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Nor Farida Harun

Department of Chemical Engineering,
McMaster University,
1280 Main Street West,
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
e-mail: adfarimie@yahoo.com

David Tucker

U.S. Department of Energy,
National Energy Technology Laboratory,
3610 Collins Ferry Road,
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880,
e-mail: David.Tucker@NETL.DOE.GOV

Thomas A. Adams, II

Department of Chemical Engineering,
McMaster University,
1280 Main Street West,
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
e-mail: tadams@mcmaster.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received April 29, 2014; final manuscript received May 29, 2014; published online September 3, 2014. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(6), 061001 (Sep 03, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: FC-14-1057; doi: 10.1115/1.4028159 History: Received April 29, 2014; Revised May 29, 2014

Transient impacts on the performance of solid oxide fuel cell/gas turbine (SOFC/GT) hybrid systems were investigated using hardware-in-the-loop simulations (HiLSs) at a test facility located at the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory. The work focused on applications relevant to polygeneration systems, which require significant fuel flexibility. Specifically, the dynamic response of implementing a sudden change in fuel composition from syngas to methane was examined. The maximum range of possible fuel composition allowable within the constraints of carbon deposition in the SOFC and stalling/surging of the turbine compressor system was determined. It was demonstrated that the transient response was significantly impact the fuel cell dynamic performance, which mainly drives the entire transient in SOFC/GT hybrid systems. This resulted in severe limitations on the allowable methane concentrations that could be used in the final fuel composition when switching from syngas to methane. Several system performance parameters were analyzed to characterize the transient impact over the course of 2 h from the composition change.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Flow diagram of the hardware-based hybrid test facility at NETL

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Fig. 2

Results of scoping studies: (a) real response during the entire course of offline simulation and (b) normalized plot for the first 10 s transient period

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Fig. 3

Transition in fuel heating values (LHV) between syngas to humidified methane of three different compositions

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Fig. 4

Block diagram of the load-based speed controller

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Fig. 5

Real-time dynamic response and estimated steady state profile

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Fig. 6

Dynamic profiles of thermal effluent, turbine speed, and turbine load: (a) the real response over 7000 s, (b) normalized plot of (a), and (c) the real response over 1050 s

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Fig. 7

Normalized profiles of thermal effluent, turbine speed, and turbine load over 10 s after the step time

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Fig. 8

The effect of thermal effluent on turbine temperatures and SOFC cathode inlet temperature: (a) the real response over 7000 s, (b) the normalized plot of (a), and (c) normalized plot for the response over 1050 s

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Fig. 9

Normalized plots of thermal effluent, turbine temperatures, and SOFC cathode inlet temperature over the first 50 s

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Fig. 10

Turbine cycle efficiency

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Fig. 11

The SOFC cathode inlet flow and the compressor intake air flow transients: (a) the real response over 7000 s and (b) normalized plot of (a)

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Fig. 12

SOFC performance during fuel composition dynamics: (a) the real response over 7000 s and (b) normalized plot of (a)

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