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Fuel cell-gas turbine hybrid system design part II: Dynamics and control

  • Author(s): McLarty, D
  • Brouwer, J
  • Samuelsen, S
  • et al.
Abstract

Fuel cell gas turbine hybrid systems have achieved ultra-high efficiency and ultra-low emissions at small scales, but have yet to demonstrate effective dynamic responsiveness or base-load cost savings. Fuel cell systems and hybrid prototypes have not utilized controls to address thermal cycling during load following operation, and have thus been relegated to the less valuable base-load and peak shaving power market. Additionally, pressurized hybrid topping cycles have exhibited increased stall/surge characteristics particularly during off-design operation. This paper evaluates additional control actuators with simple control methods capable of mitigating spatial temperature variation and stall/surge risk during load following operation of hybrid fuel cell systems. The novel use of detailed, spatially resolved, physical fuel cell and turbine models in an integrated system simulation enables the development and evaluation of these additional control methods. It is shown that the hybrid system can achieve greater dynamic response over a larger operating envelope than either individual sub-system; the fuel cell or gas turbine. Results indicate that a combined feed-forward, P-I and cascade control strategy is capable of handling moderate perturbations and achieving a 2:1 (MCFC) or 4:1 (SOFC) turndown ratio while retaining >65% fuel-to-electricity efficiency, while maintaining an acceptable stack temperature profile and stall/surge margin. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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