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Coupling of a solid oxide fuel cell with a vapour absorption refrigeration system for refrigerated truck application

Venkataraman, Vikrant (2017)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This PhD thesis presents a modelling and simulation approach for coupling a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) with a Vapour Absorption Refrigeration System (VARS) specifically for refrigerated trucks. Zero dimensional models were developed for the SOFC and VARS and detailed 1D and 3D models were developed for various components of the system.
A major challenge in this work was the thermal coupling of two systems working at entirely different temperature levels. The SOFC operates between 700 oC and 800 oC and the VARS between 150 oC and 200 oC. These two systems were successfully coupled to one another using two methods- indirect coupling, using a thermal coupling fluid and direct coupling, using heat pipes. The concept of using heat pipes has been explored for the first time in a desorber and hence that presents the biggest novelty of this work.
Design and modelling of all the components in the VARS is a major project in itself hence in this thesis only the desorber of the VARS was designed and modelled. Two different compact desorbers designs were explored. The first one being a plate heat exchanger desorber and the second one a heat pipe integrated desorber.
This work is the first one on the combined use of SOFC and VARS for a mobile application. Such a system, if developed, could also have wider implications in areas besides refrigerated transport.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Steinberger-Wilckens, Robert and Pacek, Andrzej W.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Chemical Engineering, Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research
Additional Information:

Publications arising from thesis:

‘Coupling of a solid oxide fuel cell auxiliary power unit with a vapour absorption refrigeration
system for refrigerated truck application’; V Venkataraman, A W Pacek, R Steinberger-
Wilckens; Fuel Cells published by John Wiley & Sons; DOI: 10.1002/fuce.201500124; Vol
16, Issue 3, 273-293

‘Thermal integration of SOFC and Plate Heat Exchanger desorber’; Vikrant Venkataraman,
Andrzej W Pacek and Robert Steinberger- Wilckens; ECS Transactions 68 (1) 221-239

Subjects:QD Chemistry
TP Chemical technology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:7362
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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