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Title: Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier

Abstract

This final report for the DOE Project entitled Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier (AMRL) funded under Grant DE-FG36-08GO18064 to Heracles Energy Corporation d.b.a. Prometheus Energy (Heracles/Prometheus) describes an active magnetic regenerative refrigerator (AMRR) prototype designed and built during the period from July 2008 through May 2011. The primary goal of this project was to make significant technical advances toward highly efficient liquefaction of hydrogen. Conventional hydrogen liquefiers at any scale have a maximum FOM of ~0.35 due primarily to the intrinsic difficulty of rapid, efficient compression of either hydrogen or helium working gases. Numerical simulation modeling of high performance AMRL designs indicates certain designs have promise to increase thermodynamic efficiency from a FOM of ~0.35 toward ~0.5 to ~0.6. The technical approach was the use of solid magnetic working refrigerants cycled in and out of high magnetic fields to build an efficient active regenerative magnetic refrigeration module providing cooling power for AMRL. A single-stage reciprocating AMRR with a design temperature span from ~290 K to ~120 K was built and tested with dual magnetic regenerators moving in and out of the conductively-cooled superconducting magnet subsystem. The heat transfer fluid (helium) was coupled to the process stream (refrigeration/liquefaction load) via high performancemore » heat exchangers. In order to maximize AMRR efficiency a helium bypass loop with adjustable flow was incorporated in the design because the thermal mass of magnetic refrigerants is higher in low magnetic field than in high magnetic field. Heracles/Prometheus designed experiments to measure AMRR performance under a variety of different operational parameters such as cycle frequency, magnetic field strength, heat transfer fluid flow rate, amount of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid while measuring work input, temperature span, cooling capability as a function of cold temperature as a function of the amount of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid. The operational AMRR prototype can be used to answer key questions such as the best recipe for multiple layers of different magnetic refrigerants in one or more integrated regenerators with varying amounts of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid. Layered regenerators are necessary to span the AMRR range from 290 K to 120K. Our AMRR performance simulation model predicts that ~10-15 % of bypass flow should significantly improve the thermodynamic performance. Initial results obtained with regenerators made of gadolinium spheres were very encouraging; a temperature span of ~ 50 K (between 295K and 245 K) across both regenerators was achieved with zero bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid and with the magnetic field strength of ~4 T.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Heracles Energy Corporation d.b.a. Prometheus Energy, Washington, DC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Heracles Energy Corporation d.b.a. Prometheus Energy, Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
OSTI Identifier:
1328437
Report Number(s):
DOE-HERACLES-18064
DOE Contract Number:
FG36-08GO18064
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; Hydrogen Liquefaction; Magnetic Refrigeration; Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier

Citation Formats

Barclay, John A., Oseen-Send, Kathryn, Ferguson, Luke, Pouresfandiary, Jamshid, Cousins, Anand, Ralph, Heather, and Hampto, Tom. Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1328437.
Barclay, John A., Oseen-Send, Kathryn, Ferguson, Luke, Pouresfandiary, Jamshid, Cousins, Anand, Ralph, Heather, & Hampto, Tom. Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier. United States. doi:10.2172/1328437.
Barclay, John A., Oseen-Send, Kathryn, Ferguson, Luke, Pouresfandiary, Jamshid, Cousins, Anand, Ralph, Heather, and Hampto, Tom. Tue . "Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier". United States. doi:10.2172/1328437. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1328437.
@article{osti_1328437,
title = {Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier},
author = {Barclay, John A. and Oseen-Send, Kathryn and Ferguson, Luke and Pouresfandiary, Jamshid and Cousins, Anand and Ralph, Heather and Hampto, Tom},
abstractNote = {This final report for the DOE Project entitled Active Magnetic Regenerative Liquefier (AMRL) funded under Grant DE-FG36-08GO18064 to Heracles Energy Corporation d.b.a. Prometheus Energy (Heracles/Prometheus) describes an active magnetic regenerative refrigerator (AMRR) prototype designed and built during the period from July 2008 through May 2011. The primary goal of this project was to make significant technical advances toward highly efficient liquefaction of hydrogen. Conventional hydrogen liquefiers at any scale have a maximum FOM of ~0.35 due primarily to the intrinsic difficulty of rapid, efficient compression of either hydrogen or helium working gases. Numerical simulation modeling of high performance AMRL designs indicates certain designs have promise to increase thermodynamic efficiency from a FOM of ~0.35 toward ~0.5 to ~0.6. The technical approach was the use of solid magnetic working refrigerants cycled in and out of high magnetic fields to build an efficient active regenerative magnetic refrigeration module providing cooling power for AMRL. A single-stage reciprocating AMRR with a design temperature span from ~290 K to ~120 K was built and tested with dual magnetic regenerators moving in and out of the conductively-cooled superconducting magnet subsystem. The heat transfer fluid (helium) was coupled to the process stream (refrigeration/liquefaction load) via high performance heat exchangers. In order to maximize AMRR efficiency a helium bypass loop with adjustable flow was incorporated in the design because the thermal mass of magnetic refrigerants is higher in low magnetic field than in high magnetic field. Heracles/Prometheus designed experiments to measure AMRR performance under a variety of different operational parameters such as cycle frequency, magnetic field strength, heat transfer fluid flow rate, amount of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid while measuring work input, temperature span, cooling capability as a function of cold temperature as a function of the amount of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid. The operational AMRR prototype can be used to answer key questions such as the best recipe for multiple layers of different magnetic refrigerants in one or more integrated regenerators with varying amounts of bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid. Layered regenerators are necessary to span the AMRR range from 290 K to 120K. Our AMRR performance simulation model predicts that ~10-15 % of bypass flow should significantly improve the thermodynamic performance. Initial results obtained with regenerators made of gadolinium spheres were very encouraging; a temperature span of ~ 50 K (between 295K and 245 K) across both regenerators was achieved with zero bypass flow of the heat transfer fluid and with the magnetic field strength of ~4 T.},
doi = {10.2172/1328437},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 12 00:00:00 EST 2016},
month = {Tue Jan 12 00:00:00 EST 2016}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This document summarizes work done at the Astronautics Technology Center of the Astronautics Corporation of America (ACA) in Phase 1 of a four phase program leading to the development of a magnetic liquefier for hydrogen. The project involves the design, fabrication, installation, and operation of a hydrogen liquefier providing significantly reduced capital and operating costs, compared to present liquefiers. To achieve this goal, magnetic refrigeration, a recently developed, highly efficient refrigeration technology, will be used for the liquefaction process. Phase 1 project tasks included liquefier conceptual design and analysis, preliminary design of promising configurations, design selection, and detailed design ofmore » the selected design. Fabrication drawings and vendor specifications for the selected design were completed during detailed design. The design of a subscale, demonstration magnetic hydrogen liquefier represents a significant advance in liquefaction technology. The cost reductions that can be realized in hydrogen liquefaction in both the subscale and, more importantly, in the full-scale device are expected to have considerable impact on the use of liquid hydrogen in transportation, chemical, and electronic industries. The benefits to the nation from this technological advance will continue to have importance well into the 21st century.« less
  • Transient flow phenomena in the regenerator tube of reciprocating magnetic heat pumps have been studied numerically and experimentally. In the numerical study, two approaches were taken: (1) solving the energy balance equations for fluid through a porous bed directly and (2) solving the Navier-Stokes equations with a buoyancy force term in the momentum equation. A flow thermal mixing problem was found in both approaches because of the piston-like motion of the regenerator tube that hinders the development of the temperature. The numerical study results show that a 45 K temperature span can be reached in 10 minutes of charge timemore » through the use of a 7-Tesla magnetic field. Using the second numerical approach, temperature stratification in the regenerator fluid column was clearly indicated through temperature rasters. The study also calculates regenerator efficiency and energy delivery rates when heating load and cooling load are applied. Piecewise variation of the regenerator tube moving speed has been used in the present numerical study to control the mass flow rate, reduce thermal mixing of the flow and thus the regenerative losses. The gadolinium`s adiabatic temperature has been measured under 6.5 Tesla of magnet field and different of operating temperatures ranging from 285 K to 320 K. Three regenerative heat pumping tests have also been conducted based on the Reynolds number of the regenerator tube flow, namely Re=300, Re=450, and Re=750 without loads. Maximum temperature span are 12 & 11 K and 9 K for the case of Re=300, Re=450 and Re=750, respectively. Experimental data are in good agreement with the numerical calculation results, and have been used to calibrate the numerical results and to develop a design database for reciprocating-type room-temperature magnetic heat pumps.« less
  • This project was a continuation and refinement of a feasibility prototype natural gas liquefier that had been designed, fabricated, and tested under a U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. Extensive performance testing was conducted to characterize the natural gas liquefier refrigeration capability and to collect data for diagnostic purposes. Analysis of the effectiveness of the regenerator concluded that the current design would require substantial empirical iterations. The final prototype with a design target of 1,000 Watts (W) refrigeration was able to achieve only 400 W of refrigeration, projected to 550 W at a higher chargemore » pressure. Recommendations are made for further testing, analysis, and correlation to achieve a better optimized regenerator design for a second generation prototype natural gas liquefier.« less
  • No abstract available.