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Off-Design Performance Analysis of a Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine Hybrid for Auxiliary Aerospace Power

[+] Author Affiliations
Joshua E. Freeh, Christopher J. Steffen, Jr., Louis M. Larosiliere

NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Paper No. FUELCELL2005-74099, pp. 265-272; 8 pages
  • ASME 2005 3rd International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • 3rd International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA, May 23–25, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3764-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3757-2
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


A solid-oxide fuel cell/gas turbine hybrid system for auxiliary aerospace power is analyzed using 0-D and 1-D system-level models. The system is designed to produce 440kW of net electrical power, sized for a typical long-range 300-passenger civil airplane, at both sea level and cruise flight level (12,500m). In addition, a part power level of 250kW is analyzed at the cruise condition, a requirement of the operating power profile. The challenge of creating a balanced system for the three distinct conditions is presented, along with the compromises necessary for each case. A parametric analysis is described for the cruise part power operating point, in which the system efficiency is maximized by varying the air flow rate. The system is compared to an earlier version that was designed solely for cruise operation. The results show that it is necessary to size the turbomachinery, fuel cell, and heat exchangers at sea level full power rather than cruise full power. The resulting estimated mass of the system is 1912 kg, which is significantly higher than the original cruise design point mass, 1396 kg. The net thermal efficiencies with respect to the fuel LHV are calculated to be 42.4% at sea level full power, 72.6% at cruise full power, and 72.8% at cruise part power. The cruise conditions take advantage of pre-compressed air from the on-board Environmental Control System, which accounts for a portion of the unusually high thermal efficiency at those conditions. These results show that it is necessary to include several operating points in the overall assessment of an aircraft power system due to the variations throughout the operating profile.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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