Applied Energy, Vol.119, 190-203, 2014
Influence of exhaust gas heating and L/D ratios on the discharge efficiencies for an activated carbon natural gas storage system
A transient 2D axi-symmetric and lumped parameter (LP) model with constant outflow conditions have been developed to study the discharge capacity of an activated carbon bed. The predicted discharge times and variations in bed pressure and temperature are in good agreement with experimental results obtained from a 1.82 l adsorbed natural gas (ANG) storage system. Under ambient air conditions, a maximum temperature drop of 29.5 K and 45.5 K are predicted at the bed center for discharge rates of 1.0 l min(-1) and 5.0 l min(-1) respectively. The corresponding discharge efficiencies are 77% and 71.5% respectively with discharge efficiencies improving with decreasing outflow rates. Increasing the LID ratio from 1.9 to 7.8 had only a marginal increase in the discharge efficiency. Forced convection (exhaust gas) heating had a significant effect on the discharge efficiency, leading to efficiencies as high as 92.8% at a discharge of 1.0 l min(-1) and 88.7% at 5 l min(-1). Our study shows that the LP model can be reliably used to obtain discharge times due to the uniform pressure distributions in the bed. Temperature predictions with the LP model were more accurate at ambient conditions and higher discharge rates, due to greater uniformity in bed temperatures. For the low thermal conductivity carbon porous beds, our study shows that exhaust gas heating can be used as an effective and convenient strategy to improve the discharge characteristics and performance of an ANG system. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.