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TRANSIENT THERMAL SIMULATION OF COMPACT RECUPERATORS WITH APPLICATION TO HYBRID FUEL CELL AND GAS TURBINE SYSTEMS

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC13.p22.20
12 pages

M. Ruhul Amin
Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Montana State University, 220 Roberts Hall, Bozeman, Montana, USA

Joel D. Lindstrom
Leonardo Technologies, Inc., 231 Enterprise Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59718, USA

Abstract

Design of high performance recuperators is essential for hybridized Carbonate and Solid Oxide fuel cell power plants. This work is focused on the transient thermal simulation of counterflow recuperator partition plates. A finite difference scheme was written to model heat transfer in two spatial dimensions and one time. Results clearly show the effect of temperature ramping rate on transient thermal performance. Excessive thermal stress derived from transient operation has been a crucial mode of structural degradation for conventional gas turbine recuperators. Results show that heat lag in recuperator plates during transient operation is minimal for high temperature fuel cell ramping rates compared to conventional gas turbine ramping rates. Based on this result it is suggested that employing slower temperature ramping permits the use of higher performance recuperators. Preliminary stress analysis results from another study show support for this declaration. Given a specified ramp schedule and a hot inlet ramping rate of 0.03 °K/s, the hot side heat transfer was at a maximum of only 0.82 percent larger than the cold side heat transfer. In contrast, with the same ramp schedule and a hot inlet ramping rate of 30.0 °K/s, the hot side heat transfer increased to 92.66 percent larger; almost double the cold side heat transfer.

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Measurement of fluid temperature with an arrangement of three thermocouples