Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) was integrated with internal combustion engine (ICE) due to its high operating temperature for improving the energy conversion efficiency in this work. In the SOFC-ICE hybrid energy conversion system, the SOFC anode off-gas with high temperature and combustible fuels is used as the ICE fuel for additional power generation. To evaluate the thermo-economic performance, the thermo-economic model of the hybrid system is developed for the economic analysis. The results showed that the specific electric energy cost (SEEC) of the hybrid system is 3.75 ￠/kWh, which is lower than that of a standard power plant. Through the further analysis, the capital investment cost of the system with the net output power of 470 kW is 50.5 k$, which includes the capital cost of auxiliary devices such as heat exchanger and compressors. In addition, the SOFC accounts for about 35% of the system’s capital cost. The annual cost of the system under the cycle life of 10 years is calculated to be approximately 15.6 k$. Moreover, the influence of operating parameters on thermo-economic performance of the hybrid system is also investigated to optimize the thermo-economic performance. Finally, the corresponding payback period of this system is approximately 6.8 years and the annual return on investment is 4.6%. These results reveal that the proposed NG-fueled SOFC-HCCI engine hybrid system presents a broad market prospect in the practical applications.
Keywords SOFC, engine, hybrid power system, thermoeconomic analysis