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Research Papers: Porous Media

Heat Transfer Modeling of a High-Temperature Porous-Medium Filled Solar Thermochemical Reactor for Hydrogen and Synthesis Gas Production

[+] Author and Article Information
Ruming Pan, Bachirou Guene Lougou, Guohua Zhang, Hao Zhang

School of Energy Science and Engineering,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, China

Yong Shuai

School of Energy Science and Engineering,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, China
e-mail: shuaiyong@hit.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received March 29, 2018; final manuscript received September 20, 2018; published online November 22, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Zhixiong Guo.

J. Heat Transfer 141(2), 022601 (Nov 22, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: HT-18-1187; doi: 10.1115/1.4041707 History: Received March 29, 2018; Revised September 20, 2018

In this paper, heat transfer modeling of a high-temperature porous-medium filled solar thermochemical reactor for hydrogen and synthesis gas production is investigated. The numerical simulation is performed using a three-dimensional (3D) numerical model and surface-to-surface radiation model coupled to Rosseland approximation for radiation heat transfer. The effects of operating conditions and the porous structural parameters on the reactor thermal performance were investigated significantly. It was found that large axial temperature gradient and high-temperature distribution throughout the reactor were strongly dependent on the operating conditions. The inlet gas temperature has remarkable effects on the temperature distribution. The thermal performance of porous-medium filled solar thermochemical reactor could be improved by preheating the inlet gas up to 393.15 K. Moreover, a correlation was established between the protective gas inlet velocity and the porosity of porous media. The temperature difference decreased with the increase in the porosity of the inner cavity of the reactor. In contrast to the front and back parts of the inner cavity of the reactor, higher temperature distribution could be obtained in the porous region by increasing the average cell diameters of porous media.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Three-dimensional schematic diagram of porous-medium filled solar thermochemical reactor for hydrogen and syngas production

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Fig. 2

Temperature distribution along the centerline of porous region compared to the literature [33]

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Fig. 3

Grid-independent test and temperature distribution: (a) temperature distribution with different cell numbers, (b) 3D computational mesh used for the simulation, and (c) 3D temperature distribution in the reactor

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Fig. 4

Comparisons of temperature distribution along the centerline of the reactor with different inlet radiation temperatures: (a) temperature distribution along the centerline of the reactor and (b) temperature difference in inner cavity of the reactor

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Fig. 5

Comparisons of temperature distribution along the centerline of reactor with different gas inlet temperature: (a) temperature distribution along the centerline of reactor and (b) temperature distribution in the front part

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Fig. 6

Comparisons of temperature distribution along the centerline of the reactor and porous region: (a) temperature distribution along the centerline of the reactor with different porosities of porous media, (b) temperature distribution along the centerline of porous region with different porosities of porous media, (c) temperature distribution along the centerline of reactor with different gas inlet velocities, (d) temperature distribution along the centerline of porous region with different gas inlet velocities, (e) temperature difference varied with the porosity in the porous region with different gas inlet velocities, and (f) temperature difference varied with gas inlet velocity in the porous region with different porosities

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Fig. 7

Comparisons of temperature distribution along the centerline of the reactor with different average cell diameters of porous media: (a) temperature distribution along the centerline of the reactor and (b) temperature difference with different average cell diameters in the porous region, front and back parts of the reactor

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