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Feasibility study for SOFC-GT hybrid locomotive power part II. System packaging and operating route simulation


This work assesses the feasibility of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell-Gas Turbine (SOFC-GT) hybrid power systems for use as the prime mover in freight locomotives. The available space in a diesel engine-powered locomotive is compared to that required for an SOFC-GT system, inclusive of fuel processing systems necessary for the SOFC-GT. The SOFC-GT space requirement is found to be similar to current diesel engines, without consideration of the electrical balance of plant. Preliminary design of the system layout within the locomotive is carried out for illustration. Recent advances in SOFC technology and implications of future improvements are discussed as well. A previously-developed FORTRAN model of an SOFC-GT system is then augmented to simulate the kinematics and power notching of a train and its locomotives. The operation of the SOFC-GT-powered train is investigated along a representative route in Southern California, with simulations presented for diesel reformate as well as natural gas reformate and hydrogen as fuels. Operational parameters and difficulties are explored as are comparisons of expected system performance to modern diesel engines. It is found that even in the diesel case, the SOFC-GT system provides significant savings in fuel and CO 2 emissions, making it an attractive option for the rail industry. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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