In CO2 reforming of methane solar thermochemical energy storage, the endothermic methane reforming with CO2 reaction is utilized to absorb solar energy. Although a lot of research has been done to enhance the thermochemical performance of the solar driven CO2 reforming of methane reactor, there is little research conducted investigating the geometrical effect of reactor on the reactor thermochemical performance. Moreover, the catalyst cost is anticipated to be large. Minimizing the required catalyst volume is the key to reduce the capital cost of the CO2 reforming of methane solar thermochemical energy storage system. But there is not much research investigating the geometrical effect on the catalyst volume. In this paper, a pseudohomogeneous computational model is used to simulate methane reforming with CO2 reaction in a tubular packed bed reactor. A parametric study is performed to investigate the geometrical effects of reactor on the reactor performance. The results show that methane conversion as well as outlet gas temperature increase with reactor diameter and/or reactor length increasing while the energy efficiency decreases with reactor diameter and/or reactor length increasing. There is a trade-off between increasing methane conversion and decreasing energy efficiency. As the required catalyst volume increases with reactor size increasing, there is a trade-off between increasing methane conversion and increasing catalyst volume. Another parametric study has been conducted to study the effects of reactor geometries on the required catalyst volume. The results show that the required catalyst volume can be saved by decreasing the reactor diameter due to enhanced heat transfer.
Keywords Solar thermochemical energy storage, Methane reforming with carbon dioxide, Geometrical effect