Design and analysis of a hybrid concentrated photovoltaic thermal system integrated with an organic Rankine cycle for hydrogen production

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Mechanical Engineering


Solar is one of the most promising energy sources because of the abundance of solar radiation in certain parts of the world. One of the main limiting factors of using traditional photovoltaic cells is that they require a lot of space to generate a significant amount of power. The alternative method, the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) module, does not utilize the infrared part of the spectrum; thus, the concentrated photovoltaic thermal (CPVT) module was developed. In this paper, the design of a CPVT system coupling with an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is analyzed where the CPVT thermal receiver acts as a heat exchanger in ORC to generate additional electrical power. The generated power by hybrid CPVT–ORC system is converted to hydrogen by an electrolysis system to store power. The performance of hydrogen production system using an integrated CPVT–ORC power generation system is analytically evaluated, and the results of the modeling and analyses are presented, involving assessments of the influence of varying several design parameters on the rate of hydrogen production. The CPVT and ORC together produce up to 1152 W of electricity under 160 suns solar concentration. When all the electricity is supplied to an electrolyzer, 0.1587 kg of 99.99% pure hydrogen is produced and stored for future use in a fuel cell. The electrolyzer operates at up to 57% efficiency and has an average performance of 725.5 kWh kg−1. The results revealed that coupling ORC to the CPVT enables the system to improve the electrical power generation and consequently diurnal hydrogen production increases up to 30%. © 2020, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.



Publication Title

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

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