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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Cycle Innovations

Modeling and Performance Analysis of the Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Limited: 1 MW Plant

[+] Author and Article Information
Francesco Trasino, Michele Bozzolo

 Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Limited, Loughborough LE11 3GR, UK

Loredana Magistri, Aristide F. Massardo

Thermochemical Power Group (TPG), Dipartimento di Macchine, Sistemi Energetici e Trasporti, Università di Genova, Via Montallegro 1, 16145, Genova, Italy

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 133(2), 021701 (Oct 25, 2010) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000600 History: Received May 06, 2009; Revised October 28, 2009; Published October 25, 2010; Online October 25, 2010

This paper is focused on the performance of the 1 MW plant designed and developed by Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Limited. The system consists of a two stage turbogenerator coupled with pressure vessels containing the fuel cell stack, internal reformer, cathode ejector, anode ejector, and off-gas burner. While the overall scheme is relatively simple, due to the limited number of components, the interaction between the components is complex and the system behavior is determined by many parameters. In particular, two important subsystems such as the cathode and the anode recycle loops must be carefully analyzed also considering their interaction with and influence on the turbogenerator performance. The system performance model represents the whole, and each physical component is modeled in detail as a subsystem. The component models have been validated or are under verification. The model provides all the operating parameters in each characteristic point of the plant and a complete distribution of thermodynamics and chemical parameters inside the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack and reformer. In order to characterize the system behavior, its operating envelope has been calculated taking into account the effect of ambient temperature and pressure, as described in the paper. Given the complexity of the system, various constraints have to be considered in order to obtain a safe operating condition not only for the system as a whole but also for each of its parts. In particular each point calculated has to comply with several constraints such as stack temperature distribution, maximum and minimum temperatures, and high and low pressure spool maximum rotational speeds. The model developed and the results presented in the paper provide important information for the definition of an appropriate control strategy and a first step in the development of a robust and optimized control system.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

RRFCS system cycle and key components

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Figure 2

Cathode recycle loop

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Figure 3

Anode recycle loop

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Figure 4

Turbogenerator general view

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Figure 5

Ejector main sections and detail of nozzle sections

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Figure 6

Ejector performance compared with experimental results: (m) and (c) stand for measured and calculated, respectively

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Figure 7

A block of RRFCS strips

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Figure 8

Flow scheme for a stack block

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Figure 11

Fuel utilization factor over operating range

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Figure 12

Pressure trend at cathodic ejector outlet, i.e., stack inlet at cathodic side

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Figure 13

Operating curve comparison for ISO temperature

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Figure 14

GM efficiency at 2000 m amsl

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Figure 15

Fuel utilization factor at 2000 m amsl

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Figure 16

Pressure at stack inlet, anodic side, at 2000 m amsl

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Figure 17

Overall system performance

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Figure 18

Low pressure compressor rotational speed

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Figure 19

System operating pressure

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Figure 20

Fuel utilization factor

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Figure 21

Effects of blown-off air recycling at compressor inlet on system performance

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Figure 22

Single generator module operating envelope

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Figure 23

SOFC stack dc power

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Figure 24

System operating pressure

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Figure 25

Average operating cell voltage

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Figure 26

Cathodic recirculation factor

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Figure 27

Average stack inlet and outlet temperature (values are referred to inlet stack temperature in ISO conditions)

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