Research Papers

Thermoeconomic Optimization of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell and Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Hybrid Power System

[+] Author and Article Information
Ling Jun Tan

e-mail: tanlingjun@cqu.edu.cn

Chen Yang

e-mail: yxtyc@cqu.edu.cn

Nana Zhou

e-mail: zhounana13@163.com
Key Laboratory of Low-Grade Energy
Utilization Technologies and Systems,
Ministry of Education,
Chongqing University,
Chongqing 400030, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology. Manuscript received January 16, 2013; final manuscript received July 24, 2013; published online October 22, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Masashi Mori.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(1), 011005 (Oct 22, 2013) (12 pages) Paper No: FC-13-1006; doi: 10.1115/1.4025357 History: Received January 16, 2013; Revised July 24, 2013

A hybrid system that combines a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is presented in this paper. The SOFC stack acts as both an electricity producer and the fuel reformer for the PEMFC stack to generate additional power. A thermoeconomic model for the design optimization of a 220 kW SOFC-PEMFC hybrid system is developed in this work. Optimization of two objectives, i.e., the life cycle cost and the net electrical efficiency, are considered individually to find the optimum system configuration and component designs. Then, a multiparameter sensitivity analysis is performed to estimate the relative importance of the decision variables on the objectives. The optimization results indicate that the life cycle cost of the hybrid system is 3800–5,600 $/kW, and the maximum net electrical efficiency can reach around 63%, which is higher than an SOFC-only system, a reformer-PEMFC system, and an SOFC-gas turbine (GT) system with a similar output power. The sensitivity analysis shows that minimizing the size of the SOFC is most crucial to the system cost optimization. The hydrogen utilization factor in the SOFC is found to be sensitive to the net electrical efficiency.

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Fig. 1

SOFC-PEMFC hybrid power plant layout

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Fig. 2

The structure of Siemens Westinghouse tubular SOFC

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Fig. 3

Comparison between simulation results and experimental data for the SOFC temperature at 800 °C, 700 °C, and 600 °C

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Fig. 4

Validation of the PEMFC model using the experiment data from Ref. [35]

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Fig. 5

A breakdown of the capital cost and operating cost of the optimized hybrid system in two different objectives optimizations

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Fig. 6

Sensitivity of the total life cycle cost for each decision variable

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Fig. 7

Sensitivity of the net electricity efficiency for each decision variable

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Fig. 8

Fuel cell power density versus current density for two different values of the inlet stack pressure



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