Economical Analysis of SOFC System for Power Production
A comprehensive economic analysis of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems is presented in this paper. The analyzed system consists of a desulphurization system, a pre-reforming reactor, a fuel cell stack, an after-burner, heat exchangers, a power converter, a control system, blowers, pumps, start-up heaters and piping. Since most of these components are still in the prototype or early commercialization phase, their unitary cost (€/kW) as well as the global SOFC system cost is assessed as a function of time. Current investment costs and assumptions regarding future technological developments have been taken into account to evaluate the characteristic cost curves. These curves shows three segments with different slopes in costs trend which correspond to research and development stage, introduction of the product into the market and “market stabilization”. A sensitivity analysis has been carried out to identify the most critical components within the system. Results demonstrated the criticality of fuel cell stack, balance of plant and control system costs; their optimization could contribute to a drastic reduction in the global cost. Finally, the assessment of the cost using net present value (NPV) as control parameter was performed.
KeywordsSOFC system biomasses renewable energy biofuels
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