Regarding the greenhouse effect and providing sustainable energy sources, hydrogen economy plays a significant role in the future but has many challenging points. By using hydrogen fuel cell systems supply clean energy without any emission gas. Water vapour is the only product of the reactions taking place, that’s why fuel cells are regarded as non-polluting zero-emission devices.
Providing fuel for the fuel cell systems is the critical point for transition into the hydrogen economy. For steady supply of hydrogen into fuel cell systems many options are used. The reformer system is one of them for producing hydrogen from e.g. natural gas with the help of catalysts. These systems are regarded as a transition technology into the hydrogen economy. The product gas above 80% content of hydrogen can be fed into the fuel cell system. The reactors can be used for both PEMFC and SOFC systems and open a wide gateway to e.g. household’s usages for heat and electrical purposes. The high efficiency and existing infrastructure make these types of simple reformers feasible.
The reactor seen below is designed with the help of Pro/Engineer and optimization is performed with simulations made by COMSOL Multiphysics and Pro/Mechanica. The reactor is investigated with chemical, thermal, fluidic and mechanical aspects. The aim is to increase durability of the product by preventing fracture occurred in the reactor because of high temperatures and critical temperature profiles. Not only working temperature but also high corrosive mediums are design parameters to be considered. After analyzing the reactor with the help of COMSOL Multiphysics thermo-mechanical simulations with Pro/Mechanica are additionally performed using the design ability and sensitivity analysis of Pro/Mechanica. To increase the reactor life cycle new concepts are designed and compared via simulation results using mainly mechanical behaviour of the reactor but also fluidic and reaction kinetic characteristics. The geometry of the reactor is optimized using these simulation tools and the final design is reached also regarding manufacturing abilities.