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Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine System for High Altitude Long Endurance Aerospace Missions

[+] Author Affiliations
Ananda Himansu

Taitech, Inc., Cleveland, OH

Joshua E. Freeh, Christopher J. Steffen, Jr., Robert T. Tornabene, Xiao-Yen J. Wang

NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Paper No. FUELCELL2006-97095, pp. 573-583; 11 pages
  • ASME 2006 4th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2006 Fourth International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, Parts A and B
  • Irvine, California, USA, June 19–21, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4247-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3780-7
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


A system level analysis, inclusive of mass, is carried out for a cryogenic hydrogen fueled hybrid solid oxide fuel cell and bottoming gas turbine (SOFC/GT) power system. The system is designed to provide primary or secondary electrical power for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over a high altitude, long endurance mission. The net power level and altitude are parametrically varied to examine their effect on total system mass. Some of the more important technology parameters, including turbomachinery efficiencies and the SOFC area specific resistance, are also studied for their effect on total system mass. Finally, two different solid oxide cell designs are compared to show the importance of the individual solid oxide cell design on the overall system. We show that for long mission durations of 10 days or more, the fuel mass savings resulting from the high efficiency of an SOFC/GT system more than offset the larger powerplant mass resulting from the low specific power of the SOFC/GT system. These missions therefore favor high efficiency, low power density systems, characteristics typical of fuel cell systems in general.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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