Exergetic potential of fuels: The case of a SOFC-based power plant
The method of exergy analysis is presented for a SOFC power plant involving external steam reforming and fed by methane and ethanol. The optimal operation parameters of the integrated SOFC plant are specified after minimizing the existing energy and exergy losses. A comparison of methane and ethanol as appropriate fuels for a SOFC-based power plant is provided in terms of exergetic efficiency assuming the minimum allowable (for carbon-free operation) reforming factors for both cases. Then, a parametric analysis provides guidelines for practical design. It is concluded that the exergy calculations pinpoint the losses accurately and that the exergy analysis gives a better insight into the system's process.