Adaptive SOFC for Ultra High Efficiency Power Systems
Project Innovation + Advantages:
FuelCell Energy will develop technology for pressurized solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack modules for use in hybrid power systems. The Compact Stack Architecture (CSA) platform will operate at a high pressure, enabling its integration with a wide range of small-to-mid-sized power cycles, including gas turbines and piston engines. Stack design will incorporate features such as internal reforming (producing hydrogen from natural gas), extending the fuel cell’s use to higher pressure values, and adding robustness to tolerate system-imposed pressure differentials. Current studies show that the featured SOFC stack technology integrated with a gas turbine in a hybrid system will enable efficiency exceeding 70% at a cost competitive with existing commercially available equipment (<1,800 $/kW installed). Brayton Energy will provide turbomachinery expertise and UC Irvine will develop a dynamic control system. Phase II of this project will culminate in the design, fabrication, and operation of a nominally rated 100-kW hybrid system comprised of CSA stack module integrated with a commercially available microturbine to validate that the project targeted efficiency and cost are achievable.
The INTEGRATE program is developing a new class of distributed and ultra-efficient (>70%) fuel to electric power conversion systems for commercial and industrial customers.
These systems’ high efficiency and avoidance of electric grid transmission and distribution costs offer the potential for lower cost electric power.