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DESIGN INNOVATION

5kWe LPG Hydrogen Generator for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells: Momentum-Based Modeling of an Autothermal Reformer

[+] Author and Article Information
F. Cipitì1

 Institute CNR-ITAE, Via S. Lucia Sopra Contesse n. 5, 98126 S. Lucia, Messina, 98126, Italyfrancesco.cipiti@itae.cnr.it

V. Recupero, L. Pino, A. Vita, M. Laganà

 Institute CNR-ITAE, Via S. Lucia Sopra Contesse n. 5, 98126 S. Lucia, Messina, 98126, Italy

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 4(2), 210-218 (Apr 13, 2006) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2393319 History: Received November 30, 2005; Revised April 13, 2006

This paper presents a two-dimensional model to describe the gas flow in an integrated reactor, developed at the CNR-ITAE Institute, and aimed to design a βeta5kWe hydrogen generator, named HYGen II, to integrate with polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) for residential applications. The model is able to simulate velocity profiles in order to investigate the reactor geometrical key parameters. The unit can convert light hydrocarbons (methane, propane, LPG, butane) into a hydrogen rich mixture. The processing unit consists of an innovative integrated dual bed reactor, filled with pellet catalysts: a proprietary PtCeO2 autothermal reforming (ATR) and a commercial intermediate temperature water gas shift (ITWS). For the last clean-up step, a single-stage preferential oxidation (PROX) process has been adopted. Moreover, an automation system to monitor operating conditions and control plant equipment has been designed.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Conceptual view and picture of the 5kWe Hydrogen Generator (HYGen II)

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Figure 2

Diagram of the 5kWe Hydrogen Generator (HYGen II)

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Figure 3

Cut away view of the integrated dual bed reactor

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Figure 4

Process flow design of the 5kWe Hydrogen Generator (HYGen II)

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Figure 5

Software screen, developed using Labview, depicting a working state of the system

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Figure 6

Two-dimensional model simulation sequence to investigate gas flow in the integrated dual bed reactor

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Figure 7

Geometrical model in the momentum transport phenomena analysis

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Figure 8

Boundary and initial conditions in the momentum balances’ model

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Figure 9

Gas velocity profiles along cross sections in the porous bed, at different distances (m) from the porous-media interface

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