Keywords: exergy analysis, industrial ecology, gas turbine cycle, hydrogen generation, solid oxide fuel cells, SOFC, natural gas reforming, membrane reactor
Exergy and industrial ecology: an application to an integrated energy system
Exergy analysis can help integrate separate technologies following the principles of industrial ecology. An application of exergy analysis to calculate depletion numbers, which relate exergy destruction and total exergy use, is demonstrated for a gas turbine cycle combined with a hydrogen generation unit. The design includes a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) with internal natural gas reforming and a Membrane Reactor (MR) in place of a combustion chamber. The depletion number for the separate technologies is found to be more than two times greater than for the combined system, implying the latter is more environmentally benign and like an ecosystem.