Numerical analysis of a serial connection of two staged SOFC stacks in a CHP system fed by methane using Aspen TECH


The objective of the study was to develop a steady-state system model in Aspen TECH using user-defined subroutines to predict the SOFC electrochemical performance. In order to achieve high overall fuel utilization and thus high electrical efficiency, a concept of Combined Heat and Power system with two-stage SOFC stacks of different number of cells was analyzed. The concept of two-stage SOFC stacks based system was developed in the framework of the FP7 EU-funded project STAGE-SOFC. The model was validated against data gathered during the operation of the proof-of-concept showing good agreement with the comparative simulation data. Following model validation, further simulations were performed for different values of fuel utilization to analyze its influence on system electrical performance. Simulation results showed that the concept of two-stage SOFC stacks configuration was viable and reliable. The model can be useful for development the optimal control strategy for system under safe conditions.

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