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A Novel Brayton Cycle With the Integration of Liquid Hydrogen Cryogenic Exergy Utilization

[+] Author Affiliations
Na Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Noam Lior

University of Pennsylvania

Paper No. IMECE2005-82368, pp. 541-551; 11 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advanced Energy Systems
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4211-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Stored or transported liquid hydrogen for use in power generation needs to be vaporized before combustion. Much energy was invested in the H2 liquefaction process, and recovery of as much of this energy as possible in the re-evaporation process will contribute to both the overall energy budget of the hydrogen use process, and to environmental impact reduction. A new gas turbine cycle is proposed with liquefied hydrogen (LH2 ) cryogenic exergy utilization. It is a semi-closed recuperative gas turbine cycle with nitrogen as the working fluid. By integration with the liquid H2 evaporation process, the inlet temperature of the compressor is kept very low, and thus the required compression work could be reduced significantly. Internal-fired combustion is adopted which allows a very high turbine inlet temperature, and a higher average heat input temperature is achieved also by internal heat recuperation. As a result, the cycle ha ry attractive thermal performance with the predicted energy efficiency over 79%. The choice of N2 as the working fluid is to allow the use of air as the oxidant in the combustor. The oxygen in the air combines with the fuel H2 to form water, which is easily separated from the N2 by condensation, leaving the N2 as the working fluid. The quantity of this working fluid in the system is maintained constant by continuously evacuating from the system the same amount that is introduced with the air. The cycle is environmentally friendly because no CO2 and other pollutant are emitted. An exergy analysis is conducted to identify the exergy losses in the components and the potential for further system improvement. The biggest exergy destruction is found occurring in the LH2 evaporator due to the relatively higher heat transfer temperature difference. The energy efficiency and exergy efficiency are 79% and 52%, respectively. The system has a back-work ratio only 1/4 of that in a Brayton cycle with ambient as the heat sink, and thus can produce 30.14 MW (53.9%) more work, with the LH2 cryogenic exergy utilization efficiency of 54%.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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