Simulation of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell with External Steam Methane Reforming and Bypass

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST)

Abstract

Fuel flexibility is a significant advantage of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and can be attributed to their high operating temperature. The eligibility of a combined heat and power (CHP) system has been investigated as a new power generation methode, in this study. Natural gas fueled SOFC power systems via methane steam reforming (MSR) yield electrical conversion efficiencies exceeding 50% and may become a viable alternative for distributed generation in Iran. Since the heat to power ratio of a common SOFC system is 2:1, an efficient heat recovery system has been considered to supply required heat of steam producer and recuperative heat exchangers. All the different main components in the comprehensive system were modeled and then simulated. Results showed high total energy efficiency along with minimum heat loss are feasible in the proposed cycle. Moreover, desirable methane and hydrogen conversion ratios have been attained which utilized this system for commercial power generation purposes. Eventually, cathode recycling effect on MSR combustor operation has been indicated.

Keywords

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