Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has tested a 75 kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) micro gas turbine (MGT) combined-cycle power generation system, a first for Japan.

Commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), MHI has been developing the system since 2004 at the company’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works.

MHI now aims to start production of a 200 kW-class combined-cycle power generation system this October in order to eventually develop a system suitable for utility applications.

The ceramic SOFC uses reformed natural gas and its exhaust containing unreacted hydrogen and hot air is fed to the MGT. The system achieves power generation efficiency above 50%, MHI said in a statement, with efficiencies of 60 – 70% possible and even 55 – 60% with integrated coal gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) systems using coal as the primary fuel.

MHI sees the large-scale SOFC combined-cycle power generation system as an effective way of reducing emissions alongside nuclear power generation and high-efficiency utility-use thermal power generation systems and is considering developing an integrated SOFC with both gas and steam turbines.