Construction And Startup Of A 250 Kw Natural Gas Fueled Mcfc Demonstration Power Plant

R. A. Figueroa, J. Carter, R. Rivera, and J. Otahal San Diego Gas & Electric San Diego California

J. A. Scroppo and R. M. Laurens M-C Power Corporation Burr Ridge, Illinois

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is participating with M-C Power in the development and commercialization program of their internally manifolded heat exchanger (IMHEX®) carbonate fuel cell technology. Development of the IMHEX technology base on the UNOCAL test facility resulted in the demonstration of a 250 kW thermally integrated power plant located at the Naval Air Station at Miramar, California.

The members of the commercialization team lead by M-C Power (MCP) include Bechtel Corporation, Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc., and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI). MCP produced the fuel cell stack, Bechtel was responsible for the process engineering including the control system, Stewart & Stevenson was responsible for packaging the process equipment in a skid (pumps, desulfurizer, gas heater, turbo, heat exchanger and steam generator), IHI produced a compact flat plate catalytic reformer operating on natural gas, and SDG&E assumed responsibility for plant construction, start-up and operation of the plant

The focus of this paper is the participation of a utility, a prospective customer of the product, with the technology developer in coordinating the construction and start-up of the thermally integrated demonstration power plant at a NAS Miramar. We wish to acknowledge the cooperation and assistance of LtCdr. R Fahey and Mr. J. Gray of NAS Miramar Staff Civil Engineering, Capt Coibett and Mr. J. Thomas of Public Works Center, and the Commanding Officer of the NAS Miramar Base, Capt. Rollins for their support in making this project a reality.

Construction of a demonstration / proof of concept plant requires the usual coordination between designers, engineers, and technologists. These plants are usually expected to be constructed in university campuses, research institutes, or in a designated host site at utilities. When a proof of concept project is installed at an end user site, project coordination becomes more complex and expectations for success are elevated beyond that of a test SDG&E took on the role of coordinating the host site activity with the construction and start-up of this project

SDG&E's participation was primarily to gain experience with a new technology product and to provide utility experience in the start-up process. The thermally integrated power plant at Miramar is a proof of concept, also referred to as the product development test (PDT,) of the IMHEX technology. This is the forerunner of a commercial design for the market entry produci by M-C Power by the year 2000.

Demonstration Plant Description and Location:

The PDT plant is located within the NAS Miramar base nearly 15 miles north-east of down town San Diego. The plant includes an improved design of the fuel cell stack, a pressurized process system using the thermal energy to improve cycle efficiency, a skid mounted package with the balance of plant, and an innovative flat plate natural gas reformer by IHI. The plant is contained in a 40 by 80 square foot area and it consists of three main parts: the fuel processor (reformer), the balance of plant (BOP) skid, and the fuel cell stack. Auxiliary equipment includes a nitrogen

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