A design approach to a risk review for fuel cell-based distributed cogeneration systems

by Luthringer, Kristin Lyn

Abstract (Summary)
A risk review of a fuel cell-based distributed co-generation (FC-Based DCG) system was conducted to identify and quantify the major technological system risks in a worst-case scenario. A risk review entails both a risk assessment and a risk analysis of a designed system, and it is part of risk engineering. Thorough literature reviews and expert interviews were conducted in the field of fuel cells. A thorough literature review of the risk engineering field was also conducted. A procedure for a risk review of the FC-Based DCG System was developed. The representative system design was identified by the current DCG design technology. The risk assessment was carried out, identifying the system components and potential failure modes and consequences. Then, using probabilities of failure for the various system components, the risk associated with a particular system design was determined. A Monte Carlo simulation on the total system reliability was used to evaluate the potential for system failure at a time of 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, 50 hours, 100 hours and 500 hours of continuous operation. The original system was found to be acceptable at the initial times, but after 100 hours was predicted to fail. The components which consistently contribute significantly to the overall system risk are the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and the nickel-metal foam flow fields. A revised system was analyzed with the reliability of the MEA and the Ni-foam set to 100%. After the revision, the components which contributed significantly to the system risk were the pumps. Simulations were run for several alternative systems to provide feedback on risk management suggestions. The risk engineering process developed with the design approach for this research is applicable to any system and it accommodates the use of many different risk engineering tools.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Lalk, Thomas; Appleby, John; Schneider, William; Koppa, Rodger

School:Texas A&M University

School Location:USA - Texas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:risk design engineering assessment analysis management


Date of Publication:09/30/2004

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