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Abstract

The conversion of a waste heat energy to electricity is now becoming one of the key points to improve the energy efficiency in a process engineering. However, large losses of a low-temperature thermal energy are also present in power engineering. One of such sources of waste heat in power plants are exhaust gases at the outlet of boilers. Through usage of a waste heat regeneration system it is possible to attain a heat rate of approximately 200 MWth, under about 90°C, for a supercritical power block of 900 MWelfuelled by a lignite. In the article, we propose to use the waste heat to improve thermal efficiency of the Szewalski binary vapour cycle. The Szewalski binary vapour cycle provides steam as the working fluid in a high temperature part of the cycle, while another fluid – organic working fluid – as the working substance substituting conventional steam over the temperature range represented by the low pressure steam expansion. In order to define in detail the efficiency of energy conversion at various stages of the proposed cycle the exergy analysis was performed. The steam cycle for reference conditions, the Szewalski binary vapour cycle as well as the Szewalski hierarchic vapour cycle cooperating with a system of waste heat recovery have been comprised.
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Abstract

The article presents a zero-dimensional mathematical model of a tubular fuel cell and its verification on four experiments. Despite the fact that fuel cells are still rarely used in commercial applications, their use has become increasingly more common. Computational Flow Mechanics codes allow to predict basic parameters of a cell such as current, voltage, combustion composition, exhaust temperature, etc. Precise models are particularly important for a complex energy system, where fuel cells cooperate with gas, gas-steam cycles or ORCs and their thermodynamic parameters affect those systems. The proposed model employs extended Nernst equation to determine the fuel cell voltage and steadystate shifting reaction equilibrium to calculate the exhaust composition. Additionally, the reaction of methane reforming and the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen have been implemented into the model. The numerical simulation results were compared with available experiment results and the differences, with the exception of the Tomlin experiment, are below 5%. It has been proven that the increase in current density lowers the electrical efficiency of SOFCs, hence fuel cells typically work at low current density, with a corresponding efficiency of 45–50% and with a low emission level (zero emissions in case of hydrogen combustion).
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