Plant Characteristics of an Integrated Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cycle and a Steam Cycle

Masoud Rokni

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Plant characteristics of a system containing a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cycle on the top of a Rankine cycle were investigated. Natural gas (NG) was used as the fuel for the plant. A desulfurization reactor removes the sulfur content in the fuel, while a pre-reformer broke down the heavier hydrocarbons in an adiabatic steam reformer (ASR). The pre-treated fuel then entered to the anode side of the SOFC. The remaining fuels after the SOFC stacks entered a catalytic burner for further combusting. The burned gases from the burner were then used to produce steam for the Rankine cycle in a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). The remaining energy of the off-gases was recycled back to the topping cycle for further utilization. Several parameter studies were carried out to investigate the sensitivity of the suggested plant. It was shown that the operation temperature of the desulfurization unit and the pre-reformer reactor had no effect on the plant efficiency, which was also true when decreasing the anode temperature. However, increasing the cathode temperature had a significant effect on the plant efficiency. In addition, decreasing the SOFC utilization factor from 0.8 to 0.7, increases the plant efficiency by about 6%. An optimal plant efficiency of 71% was achieved by optimizing the plant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4691-4699
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Rankine cycle
  • Fuel cell
  • Hybrid recuperation
  • Steam cycle
  • SOFC
  • Hybrid cycle


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