Thermodynamic anaysis of an integrated photovoltaic system for hydrogen and methanol production
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A solar based integrated system for hydrogen and methanol production is investigated. Energy and exergy analyses of a hydrogen production plant, thermodynamic assessment of methanol synthesis plant, and exergy analysis of the integrated solar based system for hydrogen and methanol production are performed. The analysis of hydrogen production is found to be essential in order to investigate for further design parameters for methanol synthesis procedure. The present analysis shows the effects of temperature and current density on hydrogen production. Thermodynamic parameters of the methanol synthesis plant, such as temperature and pressure, appear to be an important role in methanol production. Based on the methods of physical domain of the system, the optimum temperature of methanol synthesis is obtained for the final design of the methanol plant. It is concluded that increasing pressure improves the methanol synthesis process; however, methanol conversion takes place at 493 K. The energy and exergy efficiencies of the system are reduced by 30% if the electrolyser operates at 300 K. The efficiencies of the system are also highly dependent on the solar intensity. The system efficiencies can be tripled if the intensity of solar radiation is increased to 600 W/m2 instead of 250 W/m2.