The implementation of hydrogen as a mass scale energy vector requires the development of simple, cheap and efficient technologies for its production, storage and transportation. Generating hydrogen through electrolysis of alkali solution directly under pressures up to 700bar without the intervention of any mechanical gas compression systems and the direct storage of the gases in appropriate tanks is a viable example of such a technology. The present study introduces the advantages of this production scheme and the major technical difficulties to be overcame on the design of a high pressure operating electrolytic reactor. In order to study the general system’s behavior, a numerical simulation method that includes all the relevant components is developed. To reduce the complexity of the initial model, the details of the electrochemical reaction taking place on each electrolytic cell is not covered and its effect is replaced with an energy efficiency curve derived from experimental observations. Despite this simplification, the characteristics of the system remain very complex and require the use of multi-physics simulation tools to describe the interactions between solids, liquid and gas, the temperature distribution and pressure, and the production of gas and heat in the reactor. In spite of the multiple coupling possibilities within the multiphysics software, the interaction of the modules proved challenging and required the manual introduction of further differential equations and physical expressions, along with auxiliary routines, to allow the convergence of the solution. The simulation method developed is validated by modeling a test reactor designed and constructed in the Instituto Tecnolo´gico de Buenos Aires for its installation in the Argentinean Antarctic, for which different test-run results are available for comparison.
Electrolytic Reactors for High Pressure Hydrogen Generation: Design and Simulation
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Albers, A, Lauretta, JR, & Leslabay, P. "Electrolytic Reactors for High Pressure Hydrogen Generation: Design and Simulation." Proceedings of the ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Volume 8: Energy Systems: Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Sustainable Products and Processes. Boston, Massachusetts, USA. October 31–November 6, 2008. pp. 587-596. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2008-66641
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