Human ear inspired solar thermochemical reactor for steam methane reforming with the consideration of minimum Gibbs free energy principle

Jintao Song, Ziming Cheng, Yaping Fan, Fuqiang Wang*, Xuhang Shi, Jie Xu, Hongliang Yi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The non-uniformity temperature field of direct solar thermochemical reactors severely decreases the energy conversion efficiency of solar-to-fuel. Inspired by the physical mechanism by which the human ear can collect more sound waves, associating the similarity between sound waves and electromagnetic waves in the fluctuation equation as well as the propagation law, with the considering of the minimum Gibbs free energy principle, a biomimetic human ear solar thermochemical reactor is initially proposed to improve the energy conversion efficiency of solar-driven steam methane reforming. A numerical analytical model of solar thermochemical reaction is developed by Monte Carlo raying method combined with thermochemical reaction kinetics. The results show that the biomimetic human ear solar thermochemical reactor can effectively regulate the radiative intensity and temperature field to match the minimum Gibbs free energy principle, which in turn can obtain the methane conversion efficiency of 91.18 % and energy storage efficiency of 60.42 %, while the maximum improvement of solar-to-fuel conversion efficiency and hydrogen generation rate can reach 6.86 % and 20.67 % respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108172
JournalJournal of Energy Storage
Volume72
Number of pages15
ISSN2352-152X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Solar energy
  • Thermochemical energy storage
  • Methane steam reforming
  • Biomimetic
  • Radiative transfer

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