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The National Fuel Cell Research Center in Irvine, California is now operating the worlds first fuel cell/gas turbine hybrid power plant. The system features a Siemens Westinghouse solid oxide fuel cell combined with an Ingersol Rand microturbine to produce approximately 190 kiloWatts of electricity. Early test data show electrical efficiencies of approximately 53 percent, believed to be a world record for the operation of any fuel cell system using natural gas. (06-02BD75-8)

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FuelCell Energy, Inc. receives patent for a High Efficiency Fuel Cell System for FuelCell/Turbine System. The patent award is for a fuel cell system in which a fuel cell and a heat engine, such as a gas turbine, are combined. In the DFC/T (Direct Fuel Cell/Turbine) system, the fuel cell power is augmented by a gas turbine using the byproduct of heat of the fuel cell. The supplemental turbine power increases the efficiency and reduces the cost of the power generated without using additional fuel. The combined system does not require any combustion in the turbine. The patent covers both external and internal reforming fuel cells. The company expects the DFC/T to approach the 75 percent efficiency goal as specified by the Department of Energys Vision program while retaining the ultra-low emissions attribute of the companys DFC power plants. (05-02 BD74-6)

 

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