Simulation of a Volumetric Solar Reformer

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Ben-Zvi

Solar Research Facilities Unit, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israelrami.ben-zvi@weizmann.ac.il

J. Karni

Solar Research Facilities Unit, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israeljacob.karni@weizmann.ac.il

J. Sol. Energy Eng 129(2), 197-204 (Apr 20, 2006) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2711472 History: Received February 15, 2006; Revised April 20, 2006

The Directly-Irradiated Annular Pressurized Receiver (DIAPR) volumetric solar absorber was adapted to operate as a methane reformer by coating the absorber pins with catalyst. A computational model is applied to assess and improve the system design. The simulation entails the solution of reactive flow and heat transfer. A detailed parametric study is presented and analyzed here. An experimental system based on the present results was built and testing is currently underway.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

The reformer cross section (dimensions in millimeters) and solid model

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Figure 2

The reformer computational model scheme

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Figure 3

The reformer computational model results (reference case): velocity vectors [m/s] (top), solid temperature [K] (middle) and fluid temperature [K] (bottom)

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Figure 4

The reformer computational model results (reference case): CH4 (top), CO (middle), and CO2 (bottom) mass fractions

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Figure 5

Constant temperature and pressure kinetics: molar fractions X versus time t [s] for the original rate (left) and 1∕1000 of the original rate (right)



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