Numerical analysis was conducted for a heat pipe application in a metal hydride (MH) reactor for hydrogen gas storage. The hydriding and dehydriding characteristics of MH strongly depend on temperature and pressure. Due to its extremely low thermal conductivity however, it is very difficult to control the temperature of MH, especially when it is of vast bulk as in an MH reactor. This study deals with heat pipes embedded into the MH to increase the effective thermal conductivity of the system and thus to enhance the thermal control characteristics. The existing model was a brine-tube type MH reactor having cylindrical container with outer diameter of 76 mm and length of 1 m, which was partially filled with 8 to 10 kg of MH material. The hydriding and dehydriding processes occur at 10°C and 80°C, respectively. The heat-pipe type reactor model replaced the brine tubes and channels with copper-water heat pipes of the same dimensions. Three-dimensional numerical analysis predicted that the heat-pipe type MH reactor model enhanced thermal performance with faster response to the change of boundary conditions and higher degree of isothermal characteristics. Discussion is presented based on the numerical results of the two models compared with experimental results.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.