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Fuel Cell Gas Turbine Hybrid Simulation Facility Design

[+] Author Affiliations
David Tucker, Eric Liese, John VanOsdol, Larry Lawson, Randall S. Gemmen

National Energy Technology Laboratory, United States Department of Energy, Morgantown, WV

Paper No. IMECE2002-33207, pp. 183-190; 8 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advanced Energy Systems
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3626-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Fuel cell hybrid power systems have potential for the highest electrical power generation efficiency. Fuel cell gas turbine hybrid systems are currently under development as the first step in commercializing this technology. The dynamic interdependencies resulting from the integration of these two power generation technologies is not well understood. Unexpected complications can arise in the operation of an integrated system, especially during startup and transient events. Fuel cell gas turbine systems designed to operate under steady state conditions have limitations in studying the dynamics of a transient event without risk to the more fragile components of the system. A 250kW experimental fuel cell gas turbine system test facility has been designed at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), U.S. Department of Energy to examine the effects of transient events on the dynamics of these systems. The test facility will be used to evaluate control strategies for improving system response to transient events and load following. A fuel cell simulator, consisting of a natural gas burner controlled by a real time fuel cell model, will be integrated into the system in place of a real solid oxide fuel cell. The use of a fuel cell simulator in the initial phases allows for the exploration of transient events without risk of destroying an actual fuel cell. Fuel cell models and hybrid system models developed at NETL have played an important role in guiding the design of facility equipment and experimental research planning. Results of certain case studies using these models are discussed. Test scenarios were analyzed for potential thermal and mechanical impact on fuel cell, heat exchanger and gas turbine components. Temperature and pressure drop calculations were performed to determine the maximum impact on system components and design. Required turbine modifications were designed and tested for functionality. The resulting facility design will allow for examination of startup, shut down, loss of load to the fuel cell during steady state operations, loss of load to the turbine during steady state operations and load following.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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