2011 IEEE Electrical Power and Energy Conference

Optimal Design of Gas Turbine-Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Hybrid Plant
Pooya Hoseinpoori1, Hamidreza Najafi2, and Behzad Najafi3

Abstract-- In the present study, a hybrid solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine power plant consisting of a compressor, SOFC stack, heat exchangers, combustor and turbines is considered. Individual models are developed for each component through applications of the first law of thermodynamics and the corresponding cost of each component is also presented. Two objective functions including the total thermal efficiency of the system and the capital cost of the plant are defined. Since any effort to decrease the total cost of the plant leads to a less efficient system, the considered objective functions are conflicting. Therefore, multi-objective optimization using genetic algorithm is utilized in order to achieve a set of optimal solutions, each of which is a trade-off between objective functions. The main advantage of this work is providing a wide range of optimal results each of which can be selected by the designer considering available investment and the required efficiency of the system.
Index Terms—Power generation, gas turbine, solid oxide fuel cell, multi-objective optimization, genetic algorithm.

STCR T
Uf

Ratio of number ofmoles of steam to carbon Temperature, K
Fuel utilization factor

V
W
WFC,dc

Voltage, Volts
Power, kW
DC power output of the cell stack, kW

Wnet C

Netpower output of the plant, kW
Cost, $

Greek Letters

η γ
act
c comb comp conc FC Gen GT Invert ohm Out PT Recup SOFC th

Efficiency Ratio of specific heats
Activation
Cell Combustor Compressor Concentration Fuel cell Generator Gas Turbine DC – AC inverter Ohmic Outlet Power Turbine Recuperator Solid oxide fuel cell Thermal

Subscripts

NOMENCLATURE
A
A E
E0

c

Cell area, cm

2

2 Area, m Nernst potential or open circuit voltage, Volts
Ideal cell voltage at standard conditions, Volts

F

Faraday constant 96, 485 C / mole

(

)

h I
j0

Enthalpy, kJ / kg Current, mA
Exchange current density, mA / cm 2

j1 LHV m P
Q
R

Limiting current density, mA / cm
Lower heating value, kJ / kg Mass flow rate, kg / s Pressure, kPa

2

I. INTRODUCTION n the recent years, due to the fast depletion of fossil fuel resources and the growing concerns about global warming and air pollution, exploring innovative power generation systems with high efficiency and low emissions have attracted a lot of interests around the world. Owing to their high temperature and pressure exhaust, solid oxide fuel cells are considered appropriate for integration in hybrid power generation systems in which they are coupled with conventional Brayton cycles. High operating temperature of solid oxide fuel cells also allows use of non-noble catalysts which are less expensive and insensitive to certain fuel contaminants [1].

Heat transfer rate, kW
Heating rate generated within the cell stack, kW. Universal gas constant, 8.314 J / mole K

I

Q gen,FC

1 P. Hoseinpoori, Department of Mechanical Engineering, K. N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. (email: p.hoseinpoori@gmail.com) 2 H. Najafi, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487 USA (email:hamidreza.najafi@ua.edu) 3 B. Najafi, Department of Energy Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piacenza, Italy. (email: behzad.najafi@mail.polimi.it)

978-1-4577-0404-8/11/$26.00 ©2011 IEEE

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[5] carried out a thermodynamic modeling of a SOFC-GT power plant in which the corresponding irreversibility generated in each system component was also investigated. [3] presented a full and partial load exergy analysis of a hybrid SOFC–GT power plant. Calise et al. 1. multiple objectives which are often in conflict with each other should be considered. [6] analyzed a hybrid IRSOFC-GT system with a particular attention on the effect of operating pressure and flow rates on the overall performance. The pressurized air will subsequently pass through the recuperator in which it is heated by the hot flue gases leaving the power turbine. Therefore. Since these objectives are conflicting. rather than a single solution. desirable characteristics for multi-objective problems. in order to achieve optimal design of the system. 1. Afterwards. The output flue gas from the turbine has still remarkable amount of energy which will be utilized to preheat the inlet air flow by passing through the recuperator and completes the cycle. Gholap and Khan [14] investigated optimal design values for an air forced heat exchanger using multi-objective optimization. A Single-level optimization of such plant was also accomplished by Calise et al [4]. 2 [5]. optimizing with respect to one objective will lead to inappropriate results with regards to other objectives. posses. Multiobjective optimization methods have been utilized in complex engineering problems. Fig. In most of the real-world optimization problems. Hilbert et al. Chan et al. [15] considered pressure loss and amount of heat exchange as two conflicting objective functions. Bavarsad [2] analyzed a hybrid IRSOFC-GT power plant based on the first and the second law of thermodynamics. Since evolutionary algorithms. used multi-objective optimization and found the optimum design values. Therefore. where the remaining unused fuel will be burnt. this class of search methods has recently been used in multi-objective optimization problems. a recuperator. In the next step. II. using the first law of thermodynamics. Steady state condition and ideal gas assumption are considered through the analysis. thermodynamic models for individual components are presented by employing first law of thermodynamics and the properties of the fluid in each state is determined. There are several effective parameters dealing with these systems each of which has their specific constraints. Few studies focused on economical considerations of hybrid GT-SOFC systems. Optimization of SOFC-GT systems is a rather difficult task due to their complex and highly nonlinear behavior. each of which can be selected by the user regarding the project’s requirements. the flue gas passes through the gas turbine to provide the required power of the air compressor and then goes through a power turbine to generate electricity. each of which satisfies the objectives at an acceptable level without being dominated by any other solution [13]. the considered configuration for the SOFC-GT power in this work includes a compressor. such as thermal systems. Cheddar et al. as a proper criterion for performance of the system and the capital cost are defined as two objective functions. In the other word.11] and heat recovery steam generators [12]. For this group of problems. THERMODYNAMIC MODELING OF THE SYSTEM COMPONENTS In this section. Haseli et al. no single solution can satisfies both objectives simultaneously. reasonable solution to a multi-objective problem is to investigate a set of solutions. genetic algorithms (GA) is utilized in order to perform the optimization procedure. Overall efficiency. a combustor a gas turbine and a power turbine. the ambient air enters the compressor where it is compressed to a higher pressure by the compressor. 1 [5]. In the present paper Individual models are developed for each component. The constant 30 . Schematic configuration of the plant The anode and cathode products will be subsequently mixed and goes into the combustor. The advantage of the present work is the wide range of optimal solutions. [7] proposed a thermo-economic model for the hybrid SOFC-GT plant. which lead to the least possible capital cost and maximum first law efficiency. As it is schematically shown in Fig. III.Several studies have been carried out involving thermodynamic modeling and analysis of hybrid GT-SOFC systems and various layouts have been proposed in the literature for these plants. compact heat exchangers [10. air enters the cathode side of the SOFC stack where it participates in the electrochemical reaction with methane which has entered the anode side of the stack. Najafi et al [11] carried out a multi-objective optimization using genetic algorithms in order to find optimum design values of a plate and frame heat exchanger. the designer can select the design parameters which lead to the cheapest system to achieve a specific value of the overall efficiency. Genetic algorithms has been successfully utilized for optimization of thermal systems and energy systems such as cooling channels [9]. Multiobjective optimization using genetic algorithms (MOGA) is utilized in order to achieve optimal design parameters. conventional optimization methods are not appropriate for dealing with these systems and in the present work. PLANTS’ CONFIGURATION As illustrated in Fig. particularly genetic algorithms. considering the entropy-temperature diagram of the system given in Fig. [8] studied a techno-economic model of SOFC stacks for micro combined heat and power systems. Kuchonthara et al. [1] studied the combination of SOFC with various enhanced gas turbine cycles. a SOFC stack. Hawkes et al.

E0 is the ideal cell voltage at standard conditions. FC + mcomb (2) H2 + O CO + O = = → H 2 O + 2e → CO2 + 2e − (12) m5 = m6 = m7 = m8 (3) Therefore.81 0. the required work of the compressor can be determined as: Wcomp = m1 h2 − h1 Fig. an internal reforming unit is considered to convert the compressed fuel into hydrogen.dc − WPT = 0 (5) Considering these general equations and the following relations for each individual equipment of the system. Recuperator The energy balance for the recuperator is: m2 h3 − h2 = m7 h7 − h8 ( ) ( ) (10) The value of the recuperator effectiveness is given in Table I. The electrochemical reactions in the fuel cell can be given as: Anode: Considering energy and mass balance for the plant.89 0.3×10−8 T ( ) ( ) 2 (8) Using the energy balance. Temperature-Entropy diagram of the system TABLE I CONSTANT PARAMETERS OF THE SYSTEM Turbine efficiency Compressor efficiency Power turbine efficiency Recuperator effectiveness Combustor efficiency Air utilization factor Fuel utilization factor Steam to carbon ratio Stack temperature (K) Current density (A/cm2) Cell area (cm2) Ambient temperature (K) Pressure (atm) Lower heating value of CH4 (kJ/kg) 0. the mass balance for the overall system can be written as: m1 + m fuel − m8 = 0 The overall energy balance can also be expressed by: (4) − = − CH 4 + 4O → 2 H 2O + CO2 + 8e Cathode: 1 − = O + 2e → O 2 2 And the net cell reaction can be written as: CH 4 + 2O2 → CO2 + 2 H 2O (14) (13) m1h1 + m fuel . A.5 1273 0.8 0. It should be mentioned that in this paper. Compressor The isentropic efficiency of the compressor can be defined as: h −h (6) ηcomp = 2 s 1 h2 − h1 Where the ideal outlet temperature of the air leaving the Now. compressor can be found by: T2 s ⎛ P2 =⎜ T1 ⎝P 1 ⎞ ⎟ ⎠ γ −1 γ (7) This is noteworthy that the value of ratio of specific heat can be found as [5]: γ =1.85 2.98 0. following relations between variables can be obtained and utilized to simulate the system. 2. The SOFC model which is a lumped model is obtained from [5]. the plant is modeled and optimized via MATLAB. using Nernst equation. SOFC The main equipment of this plant is the SOFC stack. R is the universal gas constant . can be determined as: 2 ⎛ P ⎞ P 0 RT ⎜ CH 4 O2 ⎟ E=E + ln (15) 2 8F ⎜ P ⎜ CO P H O ⎟ ⎟ ⎝ 2 2 ⎠ In the above equation. The value of E0 for high temperature SOFC is 0. Some of the characteristics of the stack are given in Table I. FC × U f × LHVCH + Qcomb − m8 h8 − QLoss 4 −WFC .84 0.25 0. T represents the stack temperature and F is the Faraday constant (96485 C/mole). m1 = m2 = m3 (1) m fuel = m fuel .3 834 288 1 50050 ( ) (9) B.values associated to each component of the system are obtained from [16] and presented in Table I.5×10−5 T.4197. the reversible cell voltage. This value can be also find as follows: T −T (11) ε recup = 3 2 T7 − T2 C.91 31 . E.

The mentioned irreversibilities in the stack lead to heat generation which can be evaluated as: −6 Qgen.Comb ⎤ × LHV (27) ⎣ ⎦ Qloss = ⎡m fuel .dc − m4 h4 = 0 ( ) (23) ( ) (24) D. FC × 1 − U f The temperature of the outlet gas from the turbine can be found by: γ P6 ⎛ T6 S ⎞ γ −1 =⎜ (31) ⎟ P ⎜ T5 ⎟ ⎠ 5 ⎝ Similarly. FC × U f × LHV + m fuel .FC ) h4 + QComb − m5 h5 − Qloss = 0 And (26) QComb = ⎡ m fuel . FC = I ΔVloss = jAc ( E − Vc ) × 10 (22) The conservation of mass equation for the SOFC can be written as: m3 + m fuel . FC × 1 − U f + m fuel .03 and 0.Comb ⎤ × 1 − ηComb × LHV ( ⎣ ) ( ( ) ) ⎦ (28) ⎛ j ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎝ j0 ⎠ ⎛ ⎝ j ⎞ (19) (20) E. Turbines The required power for running the compressor is provided by the gas turbine: WGT = Wcomp (29) The efficiency of the utilized turbine in this work is presented in Table I.Comb =m5 Applying the first law of thermodynamics: WGen = ηGenWPT (38) 32 . FC × 1 − U f h fuel .V. The DC electric power which is produced by the fuel cell can be found as: WFC . ohmic losses and concentration losses. Using this value.dc = Vc jAc (16) where j is the rate of electron transfer per unit activation area of the fuel cell and Vc denotes the short circuit voltage of the cell. FC × U f + m fuel .ac = ηinvertWFC .dc = m4 + m fuel . j0 is the current density at which the overvoltage begins to move from zero and r represents the area specific resistance.FC 1 − U f + m fuel . 12 can be found as: Vact = A ln ⎜ ⎜ Vohm = jr Vconc = − B ln ⎜1 − ⎜ (18) ( m3 + U f × m fuel. the outlet enthalpy of the turbine can be calculated using the following equation: ηGT = h5 − h6 h5 − h6 s (30) ⎟ j1 ⎟ ⎠ (21) Where A and B are constant values of 0. The mass conservation equation for combustor can be expressed as: WPT = m6 h6 − h7 (34) The fraction of the total output work on the total input energy to the system gives the total thermal efficiency of the plant and can be shown as below: ( ) ηth cycle = ( m3 + m fuel . The difference between the values of open circuit voltage (by Nernst equation) and the short circuit voltage is the sum of the voltage losses due to irreversibilities in the fuel cell which consists of activation polarization. FC U f + m fuel . FC = m4 = m3 + m fuel .ac + WGen WFC . the equation below can be determined: m3h3 + m fuel . the outlet temperature from the power turbine can be determined as: γ −1 T7 s ⎛ P7 ⎞ γ =⎜ (32) ⎟ T6 ⎜ P6 ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ It is noteworthy that the similar equations can be used for the power turbine and the output power of the power turbine can be calculated as below: h − h7 η PT = 6 h6 − h7 s (33) Using the first law of thermodynamics.in − WFC .Comb (25) ) ( ) Where Wnet Qtot (35) (36) (37) Wnet = WFC . where they are heated up by the combustion of the additional fuel which is added to the mixture.08 respectively. ΔVloss = E − Vc (17) ΔVloss = Vact + Vohm + Vconc Where each components of Eq. Combustor The non-reacted flow of fuel along with the other products from the SOFC enters to the combustor. FC × 1 − U f + m fuel .

Obviously. Initial population is CSOFC = ASOFC ( 2.96Tstack − 1907 ) (40) randomly selected from a given design space. 15]. The goal of multi-objective optimization is discovering a set of solutions known as Pareto solutions which optimize multiple conflicting objectives simultaneously [13]. GA uses a natural compressor are estimated by the equations below [17].5 − 98. Then. In GA valves. Flow rate of inlet air. selected individuals reproduce to create offspring which are mutated randomly in Cturbine = (WGT + WPT ) ⎡1318. opportunity to pass their genes to the next generation.7 individual in the population is evaluated regarding the W 5 ⎛ FC . each of which is a trade-off between objective functions. meaning 0. Next generation is selected ⎜ 500 ⎟ ⎟ stochastically from the current population.K and Flow rate of inlet fuel to combustor. Where optimizing with respect to a single objective leads to an inappropriate solution with respect to other ones. if and only if Zi ( x) ≤ Zi ( y) . for i=1.67 ⎡Wcomp ⎤ (44) that it’s dominated by a set of optimal solution.dc ⎞ Cinverter = 10 ⎜ (41) considered objective function. Fitness of each 0. 3. each of which satisfies the objectives at an acceptable level without being dominated by any other solution. The generated Pareto front is depicted in Fig. heat exchangers. A reasonable solution to a multi-objective problem is to investigate a set of solutions. The population size is adjusted at 40 and the optimization procedure is converged after 124 generations due to the fact that the average change in the spread of Pareto solutions was less than the considered termination tolerance on the function value which is 10-4. 0. the fact which necessitates using IV. As the search evolves the population includes fitter and fitter solutions and eventually it converges. For each variable. 14. P2 m fuel .1 CSOFC (42) possibility of being selected. etc is considered as 10 % of terminology. any effort to increase the output turbine works or 33 . pipes. In the present work. A solution is said to be Pareto optimal if it is not dominated by any other solution in the solution space [13]. Individuals are ⎝ ⎠ selected based on their fitness. total thermal efficiency of the system and capital cost are considered as two objective functions. Higher fitness leads to higher CSOFC .328 ln (WGT + WPT )⎤ (43) ⎣ ⎦ the next step. variation of the cost by each of the optimization parameters reasonable upper limit and lower limit is defined and and can give a rather good idea about the total capital cost of presented in Table II. Hence.01-0.aux = 0. Z j ( x) < Z j ( y ) for at least one objective function j. the cost of SOFC systems is much multi-objective optimization as a proper alternative. owing to the fact that the minimization of both objective functions were regarded. COST EVALUATION At the present time. V. In selection mechanism in which stronger species have more addition. Ccomp = 91562 ⎢ ⎥ In this study. one may faces with conflicting objectives.(39) decrease the total energy input in order to raise the total thermal efficiency of the system results in a more expensive design and a higher capital cost. chromosomes called population [13]. the cost of the auxiliary equipments such as mixers. The use of evolutionary algorithms and especially genetic higher than the conventional power generation systems. It should be noted that the value of efficiency is multiplied by a minus sign before starting the optimization procedure. turbines and area of thermal systems [11. inverter. MULTI-OBJECTIVE OPTIMIZATION VIA GENETIC ALGORITHMS TABLE II OPTIMIZATION PARAMETERS AND THEIR CORRESPONDING CONSTRAINTS Variable Range of variation Pressure outlet of the compressor. it can shows the are considered as optimization parameters. Although the cost model has to the compressor and the output pressure of the compressor not considered all the financial aspects. If all objective functions are for minimization. The result is a set of optimal solutions. FC × U f × LHVCH + QComb 4 ( ) the system which is adequate for the purpose of multiobjective optimization. three vital variables associated to the 445 ⎦ ⎣ thermodynamic cycle of the plant including mass flow rate of The estimated total capital cost of the system is the summation of the above terms which constructs one of the the inlet fuel to the combustor. mass flow rate of the input air objective functions in this work. Qtot =m fuel . The algorithms in multiple objective optimization problems have utilized equations for cost estimation in this paper are considered the mass production of SOFC systems [17]. GA operates with a collection of the cost of SOFC stack. these objective functions are in conflict. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The optimization parameters and the corresponding considered constraints for each of them are presented in Table II.Comb 2 ×105 − 8 × 105 2.5-5 (kg/s) ( Pa ) m1 In most engineering problems. a solution vector x ∈ X is called an individual or a chromosome. The been successfully tested in several engineering problems in the capital cost for the SOFC stack. a feasible solution x is said to dominate another feasible solution y (x > y).….03 (kg/s) VI.

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