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Solid oxide fuel cell distributed power generation

By S.E. Veyo

Abstract

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that oxidize fuel without combustion to convert directly the fuel`s chemical energy into electricity. The solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is distinguished from other fuel cell types by its all solid state structure and its high operating temperature (1,000 C). The Westinghouse tubular SOFC stack is process air cooled and has integrated thermally and hydraulically within its structure a natural gas reformer that requires no fuel combustion and no externally supplied water. In addition, since the SOFC stack delivers high temperature exhaust gas and can be operated at elevated pressure, it can supplant the combustor in a gas turbine generator set yielding a dry (no steam) combined cycle power system of unprecedented electrical generation efficiency (greater 70% ac/LHV). Most remarkably, analysis indicates that efficiencies of 60 percent can be achieved at power plant capacities as low as 250 kWe, and that the 70 percent efficiency level should be achievable at the two MW capacity level. This paper describes the individual SOFC, the stack, and the power generation system and its suitability for distributed generation

Topics: Fuel Cell Power Plants, 30 Direct Energy Conversion, Solid Electrolyte Fuel Cells, Dispersed Storage And Generation, Design, Natural Gas Fuel Cells, Uses
Publisher: Westinghouse Electric Corp., Science and Technology Center, Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
Year: 1997
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Provided by: UNT Digital Library
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