In a project sponsored by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Siemens Westinghouse at its Monroeville, PA, laboratory recently developed the conceptual design of a new fuel cell-gas turbine hybrid system, one of the first steps leading to the construction of DOE’s power plant of the future, called Vision 21.

The hybrid system integrates pressurized solid-oxide fuel-cell modules with two gas turbines. The company’s conceptual design involves estimating the performance characteristics of the system. For the initial estimates, the hybrid system demonstrated an efficiency of nearly 60%. The addition of a steam turbine to the system brought the projected efficiency up to about 63%. Both of these figures are much higher than those of a conventional power system.

DOE expects to have a Vision 21 power plant up and running in 10 to 15 years at efficiencies of 70%.

For more information, contact Norman Holcombe of the NETL at 412-386-4557; norman.holcombe@netl. (e-mail).

Publication date: 10/09/2000