Exergy analysis of a hydrogen and water production process by a solar-driven transcritical CO2 power cycle with Stirling engine

Naseri, Ali and Bidi, Mokhtar and Ahmadi, Mohammad H. and Rahman, Saidur (2017) Exergy analysis of a hydrogen and water production process by a solar-driven transcritical CO2 power cycle with Stirling engine. Journal of Cleaner Production, 158. pp. 165-181. ISSN 0959-6526

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This study attempts to go beyond the conventional framework of the integrated solar transcritical CO2 power cycle works, aimed at further utilization of available exergy as much as possible. This paper proposed a novel system for hydrogen and fresh water production in which a Stirling engine used instead of a condenser, for the places with abundant access to solar radiation and sea, and least to freshwater sources. This proposal leads to further utilization of streams’ exergy through the system instead of wasting to the environment, and further power production by the engine followed by the higher products. The electrolyzer employed beside Reverse Osmosis (RO) desalination system, and takes full advantages of highly concentrated brine stream of desalination, eliminating the wastewater rejection through proposed system leading to attaining a near-ZLD approach in fresh water and hydrogen production. This reduces the adverse impacts of desalination’s wastewater on the environment. A thermodynamic and exergy analysis is carried out to compare the superiority of this study and investigate the effect of some key parameters on the overall performance of the system as well. The results showed that replacing the condenser by a Stirling engine reduces the exergy destruction through heat transfer from CO2 to an LNG unit. Exergy destruction was reduced from 16.7% to 8.8% for the above configuration for an ideal Stirling engine that exploits it to produce extra power which its minimum is at least 9 kW and 15 kW higher than CO2 and LNG power productions. Moreover, Entering RO brine stream, wasting 2.58 kW exergy, to the electrolyzer leads to NaClO and H2 production besides removing brine stream. In a power plant, sodium hypochlorite is used for disinfection of cooling systems and hydrogen can be used as a source of energy in fuel cells. An examination of some thermodynamic factors showed that higher CO2 turbine inlet pressure has an optimum value in producing fresh water and hydrogen, while the higher CO2 turbine inlet temperature slightly reduces the productions rate. The more recovery ratio also causes a sharp reduction in hydrogen production, whereas it has an optimum amount of fresh water production at recovery ratio equals to 0.47.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Cleaner Production
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Cleaner Production. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Cleaner Production, 158, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.05.005
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08 May 2017 14:02
Last Modified:
08 Jul 2020 06:21