A Master of Science thesis in Mechanical Engineering by Binish Sam Babu entitled, "Thermodynamic Analysis of an Integrated Hydrogen Production System Based on Solar and Nuclear Energy Sources in the UAE," submitted in December 2013. Thesis advisor is Dr. Mehmet Fatih Orhan. Available are both soft and hard copies of the thesis.
With the every day increase in energy prices and environmental pollution, there is a need for a reliable and sustainable fuel sources that are not hazardous to our daily lives and are economically viable. The UAE has for a long time been using oil and gas for its electricity production. However, with increasing demands in electricity for the country's development, rises in oil and gas prices, and future possible depletion of oil and gas, the UAE has adopted an ambitious plan to opt for nuclear and solar energy as its primary energy sources in the near future. Nuclear energy has become an environmentally-promising option that could make a significant impact in energy supply with very limited changes to the global climate. The energy from a nuclear power plant is sufficiently high to back up a renewable energy source. Solar energy has been of particular interest among the renewable energy sources due to its availability and affordability in the region. There are many matured water splitting processes that can be linked with the nuclear and solar energy sources to decompose water to its constituents, among which is hydrogen. Hydrogen has risen as a sustainable and efficient energy carrier option in reducing environmental pollution, and is seen as a potential solution for the current energy crisis. The proposed model in this work is an integrated hydrogen production system combining both nuclear and solar energies, installed in the UAE. The objective of this research is to carry out a thermodynamic analysis on this system and find out how efficiently the system performs. The model is divided into its respective components and a detailed thermodynamic analysis is performed. Then, an overall thermodynamic analysis is performed for the system in order to optimize the process. A parametric study is implemented with various hydrogen production processes. Furthermore, a comparative study is carried out to evaluate an optimal and feasible hydrogen production process in the UAE.