A solid oxide fuel cell- supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle hybrid system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

New technologies are being developed to produce electricity cleaner and more efficient. Promising technologies among these are the solid oxide fuel cell and the supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle. This study investigates the potential of integrating both technologies. The solid oxide fuel cell is known as a potentially clean and highly efficient technology to convert chemical energy to electricity. The high operating temperatures (600–1000 °C) allow the possibility of a bottoming cycle to utilize the high quality excess heat and also facilitate reforming processes, making it possible to use higher hydrocarbons as fuel. The supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle has received attention as a promising power cycle. It has already been identified as a suitable cycle for relatively low temperature, compared to traditional gas turbines, heat sources for several reasons. Firstly because of the high efficiency, around 40%–45% for the common simple recuperative cycle. Secondly, because the turbine inlet temperature of a supercritical carbon dioxide is around 700 °C is low, compared to well over 1000 °C for a common air Brayton cycle. This is especially of interest because solid oxide fuel cell developers are targeting lower operating temperatures to avoid the use of exotic and expensive materials. And thirdly, the cycle can operate entirely above the critical point. Therefore the temperature increases gradually with the energy added to the cycle. This is more suitable for waste heat because the exergy loss decreases and more low temperature heat can be utilized compared to a steam Rankine cycle where most of the heat is added above the relatively high boiling point of pressurized water. A thermodynamic model of the solid oxide fuel cell- supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle hybrid system is developed to explore and analyze different concepts of integration. Several conclusions are drawn. Firstly it is found that recirculating cathodic air increases the efficiency of the system and decreases the size of the heat exchangers. Secondly, applying a pinch point optimization decreases the size of the heat exchangers but increases the complexity of the system while the efficiency is not much affected. Thirdly, applying the recompression cycle in stead of a simple recuperative supercritical carbon dioxide cycle increases the efficiency of the system but not as significantly when operating the supercritical carbon dioxide as a stand-alone system while the complexity of the system increases even more. And finally, compared to a directly coupled solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine system the solid oxide fuel cell- supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle hybrid system is more efficient but significantly more complex.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115748
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Energy
Volume283
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A solid oxide fuel cell- supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle hybrid system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this