(422b) Tri-Generation of Hydrogen, Heat and Power From a High Temperature Fuel Cell

Brouwer, J. - Presenter, University of California, Irvine
Bekemohammadi, R., University of California, Irvine

Tri-Generation of Hydrogen, Heat, and Power from a

High Temperature Fuel Cell

Jack Brouwer*, Roxana
Bekemohammadi, Pere Margalef

National Fuel Cell
Research Center

University of California, Irvine

author: jb@nfcrc.uci.edu; 949-338-5953

The current project involves
collaborative development and application of a high temperature fuel cell (HTFC)
tri-generation system for the first time in the world.  In addition, the current tri-generation system
is fueled with anaerobic digester gas that is renewably produced at a
wastewater treatment plant.  The National
Fuel Cell Research Center is working with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and FuelCell Energy to demonstrate HTFC tri-generation at the
Orange County Sanitation District facilities in Fountain Valley, California.
The current project is successfully demonstrating local highly efficient
production of power, heat and hydrogen from a renewable fuel.  The system under test at OCSD can produce up
to 125 kg of hydrogen per day, which is sufficient to fuel a fleet of
approximately 200 ? 300 vehicles.  In
addition to having zero emissions, fuel cell vehicles are substantially more
efficient than internal combustion engine vehicles and can displace, as a result,
more petroleum than the equivalent amount of hydrogen (on an energy
basis).  As a result, the current project
will displace between 300 and 360 gallons of gasoline per day.

The National Fuel Cell Research Center
(NFCRC) of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) has led research,
development and demonstration projects focused upon High-Temperature Fuel Cell
systems development. In parallel, the NFCRC is engaged in studies of the
hydrogen economy from the generation to the utilization of hydrogen. In recent
years, the NFCRC has led the development of a novel and attractive strategy for
hydrogen fueling that includes: (1) the conceptualization of the ?Energy
Station,? and (2) HTFC systems for tri-generating hydrogen, heat and power.

One of the most exciting recent developments
in integrated energy conversion systems is the concept of poly-generation or
tri-generation of power, heat and hydrogen from a high temperature fuel cell.
The concept deserves attention and investment because of the significant
efficiency improvement, emissions reductions, and resource conservation
potential it portends.  In recent years
attention to this concept has become especially pronounced with the
demonstration of the concept as operated on anaerobic digester gas at the OCSD.  This abstract briefly summarizes the
evolution of the concept and the basic features of the concept to aid in
understanding its history and potential.
Benefits of the High Temperature Fuel Cell
Hydrogen Co-Production Concept

The basic concept is to capture and purify
hydrogen produced by a high temperature fuel cell for use as a fuel in fuel
cell automobiles. The processes of fuel processing and high temperature fuel
cell electrochemical production of heat and power are synergistically integrated
as shown in  REF _Ref323118790 \h Figure 1 08D0C9EA79F9BACE118C8200AA004BA90B02000000080000000E0000005F005200650066003300320033003100310038003700390030000000
for example, for a molten carbonate fuel cell.  Thus, a high temperature fuel cell can be used
to co-produce electricity for a building and hydrogen for a local refueling
station, avoiding the energy and environmental impacts of hydrogen transport
and distribution.  Key technical and strategic
benefits of this concept are:

Local hydrogen production avoids the negative energy
and environmental impacts of traditional hydrogen transport, distribution and
dispensing means,

HTFC can theoretically produce up to three times as
much hydrogen as is required for electricity production using heat and steam
that it naturally produces and would otherwise have to reject,

If all of the reformate/hydrogen stream is sent through
the fuel cell its efficiency increases,

Co-generated hydrogen is a much higher value product
than thermal energy,

Generation of varying relative amounts of hydrogen and
electricity allows additional operator control to increase value added, and
reduce operating costs,

Additional hydrogen production provides needed cooling
to the fuel cell,

A cooler fuel cell can operate with less excess air,
which reduces the main system parasitic load (air blower power) to additionally
improve efficiency,

Stationary fuel cell systems are already designed to
include integrated natural gas reformation technology, and

Stationary high temperature fuel cell systems with
reformers have proven near-zero emissions and high fuel-to-electricity

Figure  SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1.
Tri-generation concept as applied to an internally reforming molten carbonate
fuel cell
History of the Tri-Generation Concept

Some of the earliest presentations of HTFC
tri-generation were published in 2001 [e.g., Brouwer et al., 2001].  From 2001 to 2003, the tri-generation concept
was advanced through: (a) cycle conceptualization, (b) thermodynamic cycle
analyses, and (c) dynamic systems analyses. 
In 2003, NFCRC worked to develop a collaboration
between Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APCI) and FuelCell
Energy (FCE), which led to successful analyses and development of tri-generation
with funding support from the U.S. DOE.

NFCRC presented Tri-Generation research
results at several technical conferences in 2005 [Leal and Brouwer, 2005a; 2005b;
2005c].  In addition, NFCRC leadership worked
with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to develop the California
Hydrogen Highway Blueprint Plan, into which they introduced the ?Energy
Station? concept which includes HTFC tri-generation. [Samuelsen, 2005] In the
analyses that accompanied the Blueprint Plan, tri-generation was found to be
the most efficient means to produce, deliver, and dispense hydrogen to

In 2006, NFCRC researchers published ?A
Thermodynamic Analysis of Electricity and Hydrogen Co-Production using a Solid
Oxide Fuel Cell? [Leal and Brouwer, 2006].  From 2007 to 2009, APCI worked with FCE to
advance the concept with U.S. DOE funding support.  The NFCRC independently advanced the
technology by developing dynamic simulation capabilities. [Shaffer et al.,
2008; Shaffer and Brouwer, 2009]  NFCRC
continued active tri-generation research from 2009 to present, which included
completing a dissertation [Margalef, 2010], writing a book chapter [Brouwer and
Margalef, 2012], and publishing several papers that analyze tri-generation [Margalef
et al., 2011; Shaffer and Brouwer, 2012; Margalef et al., 2012].

From 2011-present, APCI, FCE and NFCRC have
partnered to experimentally and theoretically advance tri-generation technology
with funding from the DOE and California Air Resources Board.  The tri-generation system that has been
installed and that is undergoing testing is shown in  REF _Ref323119018 \h Figure 2 08D0C9EA79F9BACE118C8200AA004BA90B02000000080000000E0000005F005200650066003300320033003100310039003000310038000000
The research being accomplished is proving the tri-generation concept,
measuring gas clean-up, hydrogen separation technology performance, hydrogen
purity, and overall efficiencies for producing the co-products from anaerobic
digester gas, compressing and dispensing hydrogen to on-road fuel cell vehicles
in California.  In addition, the current
effort is providing valuable data for verifying thermodynamic and dynamic
models of Tri-Generation technology. 

Figure  SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 2.  Photograph of the Tri-Generation system at
OCSD indicating major

system components

Brouwer, J., Samuelsen, G.S., Lee, S.W., and
O'Connor, T., ?Power Park Application of Fuel Cells and Advanced Energy
Technologies,? Proceedings of the 92nd International District Energy
Association Conference, Las Vegas, NV, May 14, 2001.

Samuelsen, G.S., ?Energy Station Concept,? in
California Hydrogen Blueprint Plan, Volume 2, 2005, available on-line at:

Leal, Elisângela Martins, and Jacob Brouwer, ?A
Thermodynamic Analysis of Electricity and Hydrogen Co-Production Using a Solid
Oxide Fuel Cell,? Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Fuel Cell
Science, Engineering and Technology, ASME Paper Number FC2005-74136,
May, 2005a.

Leal, E.M., and Brouwer, J. ?Thermodynamic
Analysis of Production of Hydrogen Using High Temperature Fuel Cells,? 2005
ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Expo, Paper Number
IMECE2005-81912, November 5-11, 2005b.

Leal, E.M., and Brouwer, J., "Production of
Hydrogen Using a High-Temperature Fuel Cell: Energy and Exergy Analysis,"
Proceedings of 18th International Congress of Mechanical Engineering, Paper
Number COBEM05-1514, November 6-11, 2005c.

Leal, E.M., and Brouwer, J., A Thermodynamic
Analysis of Electricity and Hydrogen Co-Production using a Solid Oxide Fuel
Cell, ASME Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, Volume 3, Issue
2, pp. 137-143, May, 2006.

Shaffer, Brendan P., Hunsuck, Michael, and Jacob
Brouwer, ?Quasi-3-D Dynamic Model of an Internally Reforming Planar Solid Oxide
Fuel Cell for Hydrogen Co-Production,? Proceedings of the 6th International
Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology,  ASME Paper Number FC08-65193, May, 2008.

[8]   Shaffer,
Brendan and Jacob Brouwer, ?Dynamic model for understanding spatial temperature
and species distributions in internal-reforming solid oxide fuel cells,? ASME
Paper FuelCell2009-85095, June, 2009.

[9]   Margalef,
Pere, "On the poly-generation of electricity, heat and hydrogen with high
temperature fuel cells," PhD dissertation, University of California,
Irvine 2010.

[10]     Margalef,
Pere, Brown, Tim, Brouwer, Jacob, and Samuelsen, Scott, Short communication:
Efficiency of poly-generating high temperature fuel cells, Journal of Power
Sources, Volume 196, Issue 4, Pages 2055-2060, 15 February 2011.

Margalef, Pere, Brown, Tim, Brouwer, Jacob,
Samuelsen, Scott, Conceptual design and configuration performance analyses of
poly-generating high temperature fuel cells, International Journal of
Hydrogen Energy, Volume 36, Issue 16, Pages 10044-10056, August, 2011.

[12]     Shaffer,
Brendan and Jacob Brouwer, "Dynamic Model for Understanding Spatial
Temperature and Species Distributions In Internal-Reforming Solid Oxide Fuel
Cells," Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, accepted for
publication, March, 2012.

Margalef, Pere, Tim Brown, Jacob Brouwer, and
Scott Samuelsen, Efficiency Comparison of Tri-generating HTFC to Conventional
Hydrogen Production Technologies, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy,
accepted for publication, March, 2012.

[14]     Brouwer,
Jacob, and Pere Margalef, " Hydrogen Production by High Temperature Fuel
Cells," in Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology,
Robert A. Meyers, ed., Springer, 2012.