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Simulation Of A Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cycle: A Summer Undergraduate Research Project

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Energy Programs and Software Tools

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1017.1 - 8.1017.11

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Paper Authors

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P.S. Lankeu Ngankeu

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Michael Sexton

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1333


Michael R. Sexton

Mechanical Engineering Department Virginia Military Institute Lexington, Virginia


This paper describes a research project conducted by a senior mechanical engineering student in the Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI) at the Virginia Military Institute. The SURI teams undergraduate students with faculty mentors to conduct research in a wide variety of disciplines. The work reported here examines the simulation of hybrid solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) for power production.

The use of solid oxide fuel cells for power production has some interesting future possibilities. Because SOFCs operate most efficiently at high pressure and high temperature there are some very real possibilities of developing hybrid cycles incorporating a SOFC and a gas turbine engine (SOFC-GT). There are several possible hybrid system arrangements that may be of interest. But in general, the fuel cell would act in place of the gas turbine combustor receiving high-pressure air from the compressor and delivering high-pressure high temperature gas to the turbine while producing direct electrical power. Operating the fuel cell at high temperature also allows for some internal reforming of hydrocarbon fuels. The hybrid cycle would allow for maximum efficiency from the fuel cell by operating it at high pressure and temperature as well as recovering a portion of the waste thermal energy in the high temperature exhaust stream from the fuel cell. Previous researchers have examined hybrid SOFC cycles and conducted parametric studies to determine optimum design cycle parameters.

The present work describes the development of a computer simulation model of a hybrid SOFC- GT cycle. The simulation includes the variation in performance of both the fuel cell and the gas turbine as operating parameters are changed. The model can then be used to predict the operating temperatures, pressures, air to fuel ratio, and efficiency, of the hybrid cycle when operating at off-design conditions.


In the spring of 2002 the Virginia Military Institute established the Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI). The goals of the SURI are:

* To create long-lasting professional relationships between students and faculty

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Ngankeu, P. L., & Sexton, M. (2003, June), Simulation Of A Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cycle: A Summer Undergraduate Research Project Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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