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Fuel CellsNext-Generation Fuel Cell Power Generating System Initiatives

An integrated power generating system comprising SOFC + gas turbines + steam turbines shows promise for high-efficiency power generation as future replacement for thermal power plants in future large-scale projects.

However, considering the limitations of the SOFC mass production in the initial stages of market adoption, we will first focus on developing the market with small-to-medium-sized systems. As a measure to improve the efficiency of existing gas turbine combined cycle generating equipment in addition to co-generation for medium-sized power supply, we are examining ways to accelerate adoption, including topping improvements that involve partially expanding small-capacity SOFC facilities in relation to their gas turbine capacity.

A transmission end-power generation efficiency of more than 70 percent (lower heating value, LHV) can be expected from a future natural gas-fired 100-megawatt-class SOFC + gas turbine + steam turbine combined-cycle system (gas turbine fuel cell combined cycle, or GTFC, Figure 1), which is positioned as a future replacement for large-scale thermal power plants. This will enable carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from thermal power stations to be reduced by around 20%. Even when coal is used as fuel, a transmission end-power generation efficiency of more than 60 percent (LHV) can be expected in 100-megawatt-class integrated coal gasification + SOFC + gas turbine + steam turbine combined-cycle systems (integrated coal gasification fuel cell combined cycle, or IGFC, Figure 2), and similarly, this would allow CO2 emissions to be reduced by around 30%.

MHPS will lead the technological development of fuel cells and aim to achieve even higher capacity and efficiency gains, culminating in the development of actual systems for utility use.

Figure 1: Gas Turbine Fuel Cell Combined-cycle Power Plant
Figure 2: Coal Gasification Fuel Cell Combined-cycle Power Plant

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