ISSN Online: 2688-7231
ISBN Online: 978-1-56700-524-0
Proceedings of the 26thNational and 4th International ISHMT-ASTFE Heat and Mass Transfer Conference December 17-20, 2021, IIT Madras, Chennai-600036, Tamil Nadu, India
Numerical Study of Methanol Steam Reformation in a Micro-Solar Thermal Collector for Producing Hydrogen
Power generation systems should be made portable and miniaturized to fulfil power demands while traveling or in remote areas. Fuel cells provide a portable, clean, and efficient way of power generation. But one of the challenges associated with it is the safety issue associated with the hydrogen. In this regards, methanol is quite safe for in-situ production of hydrogen. Methanol steam reformation (MSR) yields high percentage of hydrogen. For MSR to take place, around 200-300°C of temperature is required, which can be achieved by using solar energy. In this study, a flat-plate solar collector is used with selective surface coating and vacuum layers on either side of the absorber, in order to produce hydrogen. A stagnation study shows that a temperature of 350°C could be achieved. A numerical model is set up using ANSYS software to simulate the heat transfer process and the reformation reaction taking place inside the microchannels. The thermal efficiency of the collector is found to be 48.4% with incident heat flux of 1000W/m2. The process parameter study of the reformation reaction shows that at flow rate of 5mL/h and reformation temperature of 250°C, the optimum results are obtained, for the parameters considered in this study. The product contains approximately 63% of H2 with only 1.8% of CO. This hydrogen-rich product could be used in PEMFCs (Proton-exchange membrane fuel cell) to produce electricity.