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Integration of a Fuel Cell Power Plant Hydrodesulfurizer With a Central Furnace

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007929D
Publication Date: 2002-May-06
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

For applications where a fuel cell power plant is used to supply electricity to a building (typically a home or business), the hydrodesulfurizer can be thermally integrated with the central furnace used to heat the building, such that the hydrodeslfurizer is maintained at nominal operating temperatures when the furnace is firing.

This text was extracted from a Microsoft Word document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 95% of the total text.

INTEGRATION OF A FUEL CELL POWER PLANT HYDRODESULFURIZER

WITH A CENTRAL FURNACE

Hydrocarbon fuels entering a fuel cell power plant must be desulfurized to prevent damage to catalysts contained in the fuel processing system and the fuel cell. Hydrodesulfurization is currently the only viable technique for removing many forms of sulfur, but hydrodesulfurization creates the following fuel cell power plant integration challenges:

1)                  Hydrodesulfurizers typically have a high thermal mass, which necessitates a long heat-up period before the fuel cell power plant can commence load operation; and

2)                      Keeping the hydrodesulfurizer at nominal operating temperatures (aproximately 300 deg. C) requires energy input, which has a significant impact on the efficiency of the fuel cell power plant.


For applications where the fuel cell power plant is used to supply electricity to a building (typically a home or business), the hydrodesulfurizer can be thermally integrated with the central furnace used to heat the building, such that the hydrodesulfurizer is maintained at nominal operating temperatures when the furnace is firing.
This approach offers the following benefits:

1)                   The hydrodesulfurizer is kept at nominal operating temperatures when the furnace is firing such that the start-up time of the fuel cell power plant is substantially reduced; and

2)                 The efficiency of the fuel cell power plant and the efficiency of the combined electric and thermal supply system (comprising the fuel cell power...