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Thermal Design and Heat Transfer Optimisation of a Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier Batch Reactor for Hydrogen Storage


Liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs) are considered a promising hydrogen storage technology. Heat must be exchanged with an external medium, such as a heat transfer fluid, for the required chemical reactions to occur. Batch reactors are simple but useful solutions for small-scale storage applications, which can be modelled with a lumped parameter approach, adequately reproducing their dynamic performance. For such reactors, power is consumed to circulate the external heat transfer fluid and stir the organic liquid inside the reactor, and heat transfer performance and power consumption are two key parameters in reactor optimisation. Therefore, with reference to the hydrogen release phase, this paper describes a procedure to optimise the reactor thermal design, based on a lumped-parameter model, in terms of heat transfer performance and minimum power consumption. Two batch reactors are analysed: a conventional jacketed reactor with agitation nozzles and a half-pipe coil reactor. Heat transfer performance is evaluated by introducing a newly defined dimensionless parameter, the Heat Transfer Ratio (HTR), whose value directly correlates to the heat rate required by the carrier's dehydrogenation reaction. The resulting model is a valid tool for adequately reproducing the hydrogen storage behaviour within dynamic models of complex and detailed energy systems.

Countries: Italy

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