Gas Turbine / Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Hybrids: Investigation of Aerodynamic Challenges and Progress Towards a Bench-Scale Demonstrator

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Pratt, Lucas Merritt
Cadou, Christopher P
Modern aircraft are becoming more electric making the efficiency of on-board electric power generation more important than ever before. Previous work has shown that integrated gas turbine and solid oxide fuel cell systems (GT-SOFCs) can be more efficient alternatives to shaft-driven mechanical generators. This work advances the GT-SOFC concept in three areas: 1) It develops an improved model of additional aerodynamic losses in nacelle-based installations and shows that external aerodynamic drag is an important factor that must be accounted for in those scenarios. Additionally, this work furthers the development of a lab-scale prototype GT-SOFC demonstrator system by 2) characterizing the performance of a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) SOFC auxiliary power unit that will become part of the prototype; and 3) combining a scaled-down SOFC subsystem model with an existing thermodynamic model of a small COTS gas turbine to create an initial design for the prototype.