Effect of reforming on the overall efficiency of a solid oxide fuel-cell based power plant system fed by methane
In the present work, energy and exergy system analysis are used to estimate the thermodynamic performance of a SOFC system fuelled by methane. More precisely, the present work examines in detail the influence of the presence or absence of the reformer within the whole apparatus and the consequent energy and exergy losses due to the reforming process. It was found that the exergetic efficiency for the Direct-Methane-SOFC-PP is very high (92.5%) compared with that obtained by assuming Reforming-SOFC-PP (66.9%). Finally, it was stressed that the influence of the fuel utilisation on the cell output is positive in the direction of the maximisation of the energetic and exergetic efficiency.
Keywords: exergetic analysis, internal vs external methane steam reforming, solid oxide fuel cells, exergy, energy analysis, thermodynamics, power plant efficiency, methane