Solid oxide fuel cell/gas turbine trigeneration system for marine applications

Lawrence Kar Chung Tse, S. Wilkins, N. McGlashan, B. Urban, R. Martinez-Botas

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Shipping contributes 4.5% to global CO2 emissions and is not covered by the Kyoto Agreement. One method of reducing CO2 emissions on land is combined cooling heating and power (CCHP) or trigeneration, with typical combined thermal efficiencies of over 80%. Large luxury yachts are seen as an ideal entry point to the off-shore market for this developing technology considering its current high cost. This paper investigates the feasibility of combining a SOFC-GT system and an absorption heat pump (AHP) in a trigeneration system to drive the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and electrical base-load systems. A thermodynamic model is used to simulate the system, with various configurations and cooling loads. Measurement of actual yacht performance data forms the basis of this system simulation. It is found that for the optimum configuration using a double effect absorption chiller in Ship 1, the net electric power increases by 47% relative to the electrical power available for a conventional SOFC-GT-HVAC system. This is due to more air cooled to a lower temperature by absorption cooling; hence less electrical cooling by the conventional HVAC unit is required. The overall efficiency is 12.1% for the conventional system, 34.9% for the system with BROAD single effect absorption chiller, 43.2% for the system with double effect absorption chiller. This shows that the overall efficiency of a trigeneration system is far higher when waste heat recovery happens. The desiccant wheel hardly reduces moisture from the outdoor air due to a relative low mass flow rate of fuel cell exhaust available to dehumidify a very large mass flow rate of HVAC air, Hence, desiccant wheel is not recommended for this application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3149-3162
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Absorption cooling
  • Configuration
  • Gas turbine
  • Solid oxide fuel cell
  • Trigeneration


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