UT Power Engineering Laboratory - "Powering the Future"

Fuel Cell in a DC Distribution System


Michael Starke
Dr. Burak Ozpineci
Dr. Leon M. Tolbert


Fuel cells have been recognized as one of the leading technologies that will reduce pollution and promote energy independence from oil in the near future. In this study, sold oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are under examination for utility application, specifically in the ORNL power grid. This study will investigate:
  • the advantages/disadvantages of a centralized and distributed fuel cell systems within the ORNL grid.

  • the benefits of a direct current (DC) distribution system over the traditional alternating current (AC) distribution system.

  • the changes that must be made to the ORNL grid to move to a distributed system. What components are compatible in both AC and DC?

  • the building loads that exist that are already in DC and use adapters with built in rectifiers to convert the supplied AC to DC.

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Min H. Kao Engineering Building