One possible route to the development of compact fuel processing technology is through the application of microchannel technology. Also called micro chemical and thermal systems (micro-cats), microchannel technology is hardware that incorporates engineered microchannels that provide more rapid heat and mass transport, and therefore faster processing rates, than can be realised within systems employing conventional fluid passages. Hardware size is reduced without reducing the processing capacity of the system. Researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are currently developing microchannel heat-exchangers, reactors and separators as components for compact hydrogen generators for fuel cells. This effort, funded by the DOE's Office of Transportation Technology, is now demonstrating high performance in compact units. Over the past year, the project team has concentrated most of its effort on the demonstration of an overall microchannel steam reforming system, including four microchannel steam reformers and more than 24 microchannel heat-exchangers, which as a system are intended to provide both high energy efficiencies and high power densities. Work is also under way on other microchannel components that may ultimately find value within an automotive fuel processing system or within distributed power systems.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Fuel Cells Bulletin|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Strategy and Management