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Analysis of Control-System Strategy and Design of a Small Modular Reactor with Different Working Fluids for Electricity and Hydrogen Production as Part of a Decentralised Mini Grid


Hydrogen is increasingly being viewed as a significant fuel for future industrial processes as it offers pathways to zero emission. The UK sees hydrogen as one of a handful of low-carbon solutions for transition to net zero. Currently, most hydrogen production is from steam reforming of natural gas or coal gasification, both of which involve the release of carbon dioxide. Hydrogen production from mini decentralised grids via a thermochemical process, coupled with electricity production, could offer favourable economics for small modular reactors (SMRs), whereby demand or grid management as a solution would include redirecting the power for hydrogen production when electricity demand is low. It also offers a clean-energy alternative to the aforementioned means. SMRs could offer favourable economics due to their flexible power system as part of the dual-output function. This study objective is to investigate the critical performance parameters associated with the nuclear power plant (NPP), the cycle working fluids, and control-system design for switching between electricity and hydrogen demand to support delivery as part of a mini grid system for a reactor power delivering up to approximately 600 MWth power. The novelty of the work is in the holistic parametric analysis undertaken using a novel in-house tool, which analyses the NPP using different working fluids, with a control function bolt-on at the offtake for hydrogen production. The results indicate that the flow conditions at the offtake can be maintained. The choice of working fluids affects the pressure component. However, the recuperator and heat-exchanger effectiveness are considered as efficiency-limiting factors for hydrogen production and electricity generation. As such, the benefit of high-technology heat exchangers cannot be underestimated. This is also true when deciding on the thermochemical process to bolt onto the plant. The temperature of the gas at the end of the pipeline should also be considered to ensure that the minimum temperature-requirement status for hydrogen production is me

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: United Kingdom

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