Bioethanol Solar Reforming System for Distributed Fuel Cell

Bioethanol Solar Reforming System for Distributed Fuel Cell

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5796-0.ch012

Abstract

This chapter consists of two sections, ‘Hydrogen Production Characteristics of a Bioethanol Solar Reforming System with Solar’ and ‘Efficiency Analysis of a Combined PEFC and Bioethanol-Solar-Reforming System for Individual Houses’. Heat transfer analysis applied in reforming the catalyst layer of the reactor of FBSR (bioethanol steam reforming system) and the temperature distribution and transient response characteristics of the gas composition of the process are investigated in the 1st section The overall efficiency of the production of electricity and heat power of the FBSR system is determined by examining its thermal output characteristic in the 2nd section. It dependes for the overall efficiency of the system on the amount of solar radiation fluctuation rather than the amount of solar radiation.
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General Introduction

The summary of the 1st section is as follows. The development of a bioethanol steam reforming system (FBSR) is considered as a means of distributing energy using PEFCs. Small-scale solar collectors (collection areas on the order of several m2) are installed in a house as a method for applying the FBSR. However, the temperature distribution of a reforming catalyst fluctuates under conditions of unstable solar insulation. Therefore, heat transfer analysis applied in reforming the catalyst layer of the reactor and the temperature distribution and transient response characteristics of the gas composition of the process were investigated. As a case study, meteorological data for representative days in March and August in Sapporo, Japan were recorded, and the hydrogen production speed, power generation output and amount of electricity purchased were analyzed. The results showed that although fluctuations in solar insolation affected the efficiency of the FBSR, the average efficiency of each representative day exceeded 40%. By installing two solar collectors, each with a collection area of 1 m2, 21% to 25% of the average power demand of an individual house can be supplied.

The summary of the 2nd section is as follows. In this section, the development of a FBSR using sunlight as a heat source was investigated. The system was investigated using the experimental result of catalyst performance, and numerical analysis. If ethanol purity is high, the production method of the bioethanol used for the proposal system will not be limited. The overall efficiency of the production of electricity and heat power of this system was determined by examining its thermal output characteristic. The FBSR was introduced into standard individual houses in Sapporo, Japan for analysis. The amount of hydrogen production, the production-of-electricity characteristic, and the thermal output characteristic were examined using meteorological data on representative days in March and August. Compared with the representative day in March (28.0 MJ/Day), the solar radiation of the representative day in August (37.0 MJ/Day) is large. However, the amount of solar radiation fluctuation of the representative day in August in this analysis is large compared with the representative day in March. It depends for the overall efficiency of the system on the amount of solar radiation fluctuation rather than the amount of solar radiation. As a result, the overall efficiency of the system, defined as the rate of power and heat output compared to the amount of solar heat collected, was calculated to be 47.4% and 41.9% on the representative days in March and August, respectively.

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