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Title: The Case for Natural Gas Fueled Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Power Systems for Distributed Generation

Natural-gas-fueled solid oxide fuel cell (NGSOFC) power systems yield electrical conversion efficiencies exceeding 60% and may become a viable alternative for distributed generation (DG) if stack life and manufacturing economies of scale can be realized. Currently, stacks last approximately 2 years and few systems are produced each year because of the relatively high cost of electricity from the systems. If mass manufacturing (10,000 units per year) and a stack life of 15 years can be reached, the cost of electricity from an NGSOFC system is estimated to be about 7.7 ¢/kWh, well within the price of commercial and residential retail prices at the national level (9.9-10¢/kWh and 11-12 ¢/kWh, respectively). With an additional 5 ¢/kWh in estimated additional benefits from DG, NGSOFC could be well positioned to replace the forecasted 59-77 gigawatts of capacity loss resulting from coal plant closures due to stricter emissions regulations and low natural gas prices.
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Publication Date:
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Fuel Cells, 15(1):49-60
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
natural gas; solid oxide fuel cell; power system; distributed generation