Initial assessment of the operability of the VHTR-HTSE nuclear hydrogen plant.

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The generation of hydrogen from nuclear power will need to compete on three fronts: production, operability, and safety to be viable in the energy marketplace of the future. This work addresses the operability of a coupled nuclear and hydrogen-generating plant while referring to other work for progress on production and safety. Operability is a measure of how well a plant can meet time-varying production demands while remaining within equipment limits. It can be characterized in terms of the physical processes that underlie operation of the plant. In this work these include the storage and transport of energy within components as ... continued below

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Vilim, R. B. November 1, 2007.

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The generation of hydrogen from nuclear power will need to compete on three fronts: production, operability, and safety to be viable in the energy marketplace of the future. This work addresses the operability of a coupled nuclear and hydrogen-generating plant while referring to other work for progress on production and safety. Operability is a measure of how well a plant can meet time-varying production demands while remaining within equipment limits. It can be characterized in terms of the physical processes that underlie operation of the plant. In this work these include the storage and transport of energy within components as represented by time constants and energy capacitances, the relationship of reactivity to temperature, and the coordination of heat generation and work production for a near-ideal gas working fluid. Criteria for assessing operability are developed and applied to the Very High Temperature Reactor coupled to the High Temperature Steam Electrolysis process, one of two DOE/INL reference plant concepts for hydrogen production. Results of preliminary plant control and stability studies are described. A combination of inventory control in the VHTR plant and flow control in the HTSE plant proved effective for maintaining hot-side temperatures near constant during quasi-static change in hydrogen production rate. Near constant electrolyzer outlet temperature is achieved by varying electrolyzer cell area to control cell joule heating. It was found that rates of temperature change in the HTSE plant for a step change in hydrogen production rate are largely determined by the thermal characteristics of the electrolyzer. It's comparatively large thermal mass and the presence of recuperative heat exchangers result in a tight thermal coupling of HTSE components to the electrolyzer. It was found that thermal transients arising in the chemical plant are strongly damped at the reactor resulting in a stable combined plant. The large Doppler reactivity component, three times greater than next reactivity component, per unit temperature, is mainly responsible. This is the case even when one of the conditions for out-of-phase oscillations between reactor inlet and outlet temperature, a large time for transport of process heat between the reactor and chemical plant, exists.

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  • Report No.: ANL-08/01
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-06CH11357
  • DOI: 10.2172/919345 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 919345
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc884900

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  • November 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Sept. 26, 2017, 3:09 p.m.

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Vilim, R. B. Initial assessment of the operability of the VHTR-HTSE nuclear hydrogen plant., report, November 1, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc884900/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.