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A hybrid power system consists of a combination of two or more power generation technologies to make best use of their operating characteristics and to obtain efficiencies higher than that could be obtained from a single power source. Since fuel cells directly convert fuel and an oxidant into electricity through an electrochemical process, they produce very low emissions and have higher operating efficiencies. Hence, combining fuel cells with other sources, the efficiency of the combined system can be further increased or extend the duration of the available power to the load as a backup power. In this paper, different types of fuel-cell hybrid systems and their applications are presented. An analysis of the combined cycle operation of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)-microturbine is presented. A strategy for combining the thermophotovoltaic power generation unit and SOFC to obtain the hybrid power system that would have higher efficiency is proposed. The hybrid operation of wind power and solar power system with proton exchange membrane fuel cell is also presented.
Date of Publication: May-June 2005