Thermodynamic analysis of molten carbonate fuel cell systems
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This study deals with the thermodynamic analysis of a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) hybrid system to determine its efficiencies, irreversibilities and performance.The analysis includes a performance investigation of a typical molten carbonate fuel cell stack, an industrial MCFC hybrid system, and an MCFC hybrid system deployed by Enbridge. A parametric study is performed to examine the effects of varying operating conditions on the performance of the system. Furthermore, thermodynamic irreversibilities in each component are determined and an optimization of the fuel cell is conducted. Finally, a simplified and novel method is used for the cost analysis of the Enbridge MCFC hybrid system.An exergy analysis of the hybrid MCFC systems demonstrates that overall efficiencies of up to 60 % are achievable. The maximum exergy destruction was found in components in which chemical reactions occur. In addition, the turboexpander is one of the major contributors to the overall exergy destruction of the system. The cost analysis of the Enbridge system illustrates that by merging the importance of “green” energy and rising costs of carbon offsets, this new technology could be a promising solution and substitute for future energy supply.