An Available Method Utilizing the Waste Heat in a Direct Carbon Fuel Cell

Liwei Chen; Houcheng Zhang; Songhua Gao
October 2014
International Journal of Electrochemical Science;2014, Vol. 9 Issue 10, p5788
Academic Journal
A new hybrid system is established to utilize the waste heat generated in a DCFC (direct carbon fuel cell). The hybrid system mainly consists of a DCFC with molten carbonate as electrolyte, a regenerator and a Carnot heat engine, where the Carnot heat engine is driven by the high-quality waste heat generated in the DCFC. Based on the electrochemistry and non-equilibrium thermodynamics, expressions for the efficiencies and power outputs of the DCFC, Carnot heat engine and hybrid system are derived, where the different sources of irreversible losses such as the various kinds of overpotentials in the electrochemical reaction process, finite-rate heat transfer between the DCFC and the heat engine, and heat-leak from the DCFC to the environment are considered. It shows that the performance of the DCFC can be greatly enhanced by coupling a Carnot heat engine to further convert the waste heat for power generation. By employing numerical calculations, the effects of some design parameters and operating conditions on the performance of the hybrid system are discussed in detail. The investigation method in the present paper is feasible for some other similar energy conversion systems as well.


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