Fuel Cell Power Generation Systems under Development
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is becoming a pressing issue. Therefore, the effective utilization of fossil fuels by means of high-efficiency power generation systems in the short term and the implementation of new power generation systems that logically combine the utilization of new renewable energies and hydrogen fuels in the long term are necessary to reduce the output of carbon dioxide (CO2). At Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), attention has been focused on the potential to rapidly increase the power generation efficiency of fuel cells. Through the accumulation of many years of steady research, this potential is now nearing the stage of practical application.
In comparison with other types of fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) possess many advantageous characteristics such as high-efficiency power generation exceeding 70 percent (lower heating value, LHV) through a combined-cycle system that utilizes high temperature exhaust gas and the possible use of multiple fuels ranging from natural gas to coal gasification gas. They also contain a solid-state electrolyte that excels in durability, resulting in a long operating life. Due to these advantages, we expect that SOFCs will be used in the future for a wide range of power generation systems ranging from small- to medium-scale cogeneration units for distributed electrical power systems to replacements for large-scale centralized power units.
MHI is continuing to develop tubular type as well as mono-block layer built (MOLB) type SOFC high-efficiency power generation systems.