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MHPS Receives Order for Hybrid Power Generation System Integrating Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Micro Gas Turbine
-- Order from Kyushu University for 250-kilowatt Class Verification System for Industrial Use --

No. 027

Yokohama, December 4, 2014 -- Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS) has received an order from Kyushu University for a pressurized hybrid power generation system integrating a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack and a micro gas turbine (MGT). Featuring a output of 250 kilowatts (kW), the system size has been significantly reduced thanks largely to improved packing density of the cell stack. Kyushu University plans to use the system for verification of an industrial-use power generation fuel cell system, with verification operation to begin in spring 2015.

SOFCs are ceramic fuel cells that operate at a high temperature of 900 degrees Celsius (1,650 degrees Fahrenheit). In a pressurized hybrid system, power is generated directly by chemical reaction between oxygen in the air and hydrogen and carbon monoxide extracted from reformed city gas; residual fuel is then used to drive an MGT. This two-stage system achieves significantly higher power generation efficiency and, as a result, saves substantial energy. Air pressurized in the MGT's compressor is supplied to the SOFCs for use as an oxidizing agent, and then high-temperature exhaust is fed to the MGT and the heat and pressure, together with the residual fuel, are used to generate power. The pressurized SOFCs, having significantly increased voltage as a result of pressurization, lead to enhanced power generation efficiency.

The pressurized SOFC-MGT hybrid power generation system has been undergoing verification testing at the Senju Techno Station of Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. since 2013. The verification system to be delivered to Kyushu University, the second system of the kind, features a thin, elongated cylindrical cell stack which, together with higher packing density, enables a greater than 40 percent reduction in requisite installation space compared to earlier systems. The system incorporates results achieved in joint research undertaken together with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

The hybrid system will be installed at the Ito Campus of Kyushu University in Nishi-ku, Fukuoka City. It will be used for carrying out basic research toward enhancing the performance, longevity and reliability of SOFCs conducted in the Green Asia International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone ("Verification of a Smart Fuel Cell Society") at the Next-Generation Fuel Cell Research Center (NEXT-FC). NEXT-FC was established with the aim of promoting collaboration between the academic community and industry toward achieving widespread use of SOFCs.

The hybrid system is being jointly developed with Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyota has a group company, Toyota Turbine and Systems Inc., that markets MGTs.

Leveraging the latest order, MHPS intends to further the discussion with NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. (NTK), with which MHPS concluded a basic agreement on a business tie-up targeting mass production of cylindrical cell stacks in this June, and step up its development of the markets for hybrid systems for both business and industrial uses.

New elongated cylindrical cell stack with smaller diameter (below), compared to earlier unit (above).
External view (conceptual drawing) of a 250 kilowatt class fuel cell system for the verification test.
Cell stack cartridge
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