This paper presents a novel process comprising solar upgrading of hydrocarbons by steam reforming in solar specific receiver-reactors and utilizing the upgraded, hydrogen-rich fuel in high efficiency conversion systems, such as gas turbines or fuel cells. In comparison to conventionally heated processes about 30% of fuel can be saved with respect to the same specific output. Such processes can be used in small scale as a stand-alone system for off-grid markets as well as in large scale to be operated in connection with conventional combined-cycle plants. The complete reforming process will be demonstrated in the SOLASYS project, supported by the European Commission in the JOULE/THERMIE framework. The project has been started in June 1998. The SOLASYS plant is designed for 300 output, it consists of the solar field, the solar reformer and a gas turbine, adjusted to operate with the reformed gas. The SOLASYS plant will be operated at the experimental solar test facility of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Start-up of the pilot plant is scheduled in April 2001. The midterm goal is to replace fossil fuels by renewable or non-conventional feedstock in order to increase the share of renewable energy and to establish processes with only minor or no emission. Examples might be upgrading of bio-gas from municipal solid waste as well as upgrading of weak gas resources.
Solar Upgrading of Fuels for Generation of Electricity
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division, Aug. 2000; final revision, Jan. 2001. Associate Editor: D. M. Blake.
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Tamme, R., Buck, R., Epstein, M., Fisher , U., and Sugarmen, C. (January 1, 2001). "Solar Upgrading of Fuels for Generation of Electricity ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. May 2001; 123(2): 160–163. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1353177
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