Performance assessment of a hybrid SOFC/MGT cogeneration power plant fed by syngas from a biomass down-draft gasifier

Alessandra Perna, Mariagiovanna Minutillo, Elio Jannelli, Viviana Cigolotti, Suk Woo Nam, Kyung Joong Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Hybrid systems combine two or more power generating devices and make use of the synergism to generate maximum power and offer very high efficiencies. The aim of this work is to investigate the performance achievable from a small-scale hybrid power plant based on the integration between a micro gas turbine (MGT) and a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) fed by the syngas generated by a biomass downdraft gasifier (BG). The thermal energy needed to reach the turbine inlet temperature is supplied by the exhausts coming from a catalytic burner in which the SOFC anode and cathode off-gases are burnt. The hybrid BG-SOFC/MGT plant, based on a simplified configuration and realized considering components commercially available, is designed for optimizing not only the electric power generation, but also the thermal power production, in accordance with the promotion of decentralized CHP plants. The performance assessment has been carried out by means of a numerical model, based on thermodynamic/thermochemical approaches and realized by integrating the models of each plant section, developed by using the Aspen Plus software package. The models validation, performed by using experimental data, demonstrates that the results produced are close to those obtained from each unit, so that the overall integrated model can provide a sufficiently accurate prediction of the expected actual hybrid power plant. The effects of some operating parameters on cogeneration performances, such as the MGT pressure ratio and the S/C (steam to carbon) in the SOFC unit, have been evaluated and analyzed. Results show that the best performances are achieved by assuming the MGT pressure ratio equal to 4.5 and the S/C equal to 0. In this case the electric power is 262 kW (SOFC supplies 180 kW), the thermal power is 405 kW and the electric (AC) and cogeneration efficiencies are 35% and 88%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-91
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported both by the Global Research Laboratory Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Republic of Korea ( NRF-2009-00406 ) and the by Italian Government , with the PON project “Smart Generation - Sustainable Systems and Technologies for the energy generation” ( PON3PE_00157/1 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Downdraft gasifier
  • Experimental tests
  • Hybrid plant
  • Microgasturbine
  • Modeling
  • SOFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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