Grant: $1,161,824 - Department of Energy - Sep. 2, 2009
100% voted satisfied - 0% voted not satisfied - 1 vote(s) cast
Award Description: The purpose of this project is to enhance the development of ultra-high efficiency fuel cell systems including the market-ready Direct FuelCell (DFC) as well as the next generation Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system. Implicit in this purpose is the integration of microchannel high temperature recuperators (HTR’s) into combined cycles that integrate unfired gas turbines with the fuel cells. The overall intimacy of these components is the enabler of ultra-high electric efficiency for distributed power generation where waste heat is recovered from fuel cell electrical generation and is utilized in an unfired gas turbine for additional electrical generation. The expected project outcomes include benefits of energy savings and CO, CO2, and NOx reductions. The near term energy reductions from the improved hybrid (fuel cell and turbine) power plant is 25% over a simple fuel cell power plant, hence, the efficiency is increased from 47% to 60+%. This work develops a scheme for a high temperature, high pressure microchannel heat exchanger optimization with a detailed system and economic analysis of the hybrid fuel cell system including the turbine integration. The flow rate and pressure drop of the hybrid fuel cell system will be inputs to determine the required performance of the microchannel heat exchanger. This study also includes an analysis of various parameters, but is not limited to analyzing the thermal resistances of different materials, and dimensional considerations. Both Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) will aid in evaluating the surface temperature, the fluid temperature, thermal resistance, stress, and heat flux distribution over the package. Thus, giving an overall performance of the microchannel heat exchanger. The predicted results will be validated by successively testing a representative 15kW thermal microchannel heat exchanger and then a scaled-up 150kW thermal microchannel heat exchanger. Materials cost analysis and high temperature gas exposure testing precedes each test article fabrication step. Data generated from these test activities will be used as input for a heat exchanger design to be used in a commercial MW-scale fuel cell hybrid power plant. Significant deliverables include: (1) Quarterly Progress Reports, (2) Final Technical Report, and (3) Quarterly ARRA Reports.
Project Description: The following description represents a month of work performed by FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) under the Agreement (Effective date 9/2/2009). Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the FFRDC under the agreement, has not yet received funding for their Field Work Proposal (FWP) as of 10/10/2009. As a result, FCE has shifted some work from Task 2 (High Temperature Materials Development) to Task 5 (Scale-up to 250kWe - 5MWe Design). Task 5 has started earlier as a result. Under both Task 2 and Task 3 (Microchannel Recuperator Development) FCE has conducted a literature search on microchannel and mini-channel heat exchangers regarding theory, manufacturing process, materials selection, and testing. The sources were attained from professional journals, published conference papers, and US patents. A number of superalloys have been identified for later validation testing at FCE and PNNL. Under Task 5 a system concept for a natural gas-based MW-scale Solid Oxide fuel cell system was developed. The developed concept is water self-sufficient (water imports not required) on load. A high temperature oxidizer recovers heat from unutilized fuel and the oxidizer exhaust flows to a high temperature recuperator (HTR) that heats air for an unfired gas turbine. The simulation model of this SOFC/T (SOFC/Turbine) system concept is being used to quantify the sensitivities of the power plant system performance to heat exchanger design parameters such as operating temperature, effectiveness, size and pressure loss.
Jobs Summary: Description of types of jobs created: (1) Michael Lukas, Principal Investigator, Engineering research in the areas of high temperature fuel cell systems and components, 0.52 jobs, (2) Robert Sanderson, Systems Engineer, Systems engineering and analysis of fuel cells and heat exchangers, 0.39 jobs, (3) Chris Howard, Mechanical Engineer, Numerical modeling and analysis of micro-scale heat exchangers, 0.54 jobs. Employment Impact: This award has allowed retention of approximately one full time equivalent position for the work performed in this quarter, and the creation of approximately 1/2 new full time equivalent position for this quarter. Subrecipient and Vendor Impact: There is no impact on subrecipient or vendor workforce during this calandar quarter. (Total jobs reported: 1)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Sep. 2, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.