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Thermodynamic Considerations for the Design of Solar-Thermal Chemical Processes

[+] Author Affiliations
Janna Martinek, Melinda Channel, Allan Lewandowski, Alan W. Weimer

University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO

Paper No. ES2009-90376, pp. 479-482; 4 pages
  • ASME 2009 3rd International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the Heat Transfer and InterPACK09 Conferences
  • ASME 2009 3rd International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Volume 2
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4890-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The maximum efficiency of a solar reactor/receiver is limited not by the Carnot efficiency, but rather by the product of the Carnot efficiency and a factor involving both the enthalpy and entropy changes occurring as a result of the chemical reaction. This limiting efficiency can be greater than the Carnot efficiency when the entropy change is positive, and is a function of several parameters including the standard property changes of the reaction, inlet and outlet stream conditions, reactor temperature, conversion, and relative amounts of inert gas. By including this factor in the overall limitation on the reactor efficiency, both the optimal reactor temperature for a given concentration ratio, and the concentration ratio required to achieve a given temperature and efficiency can, in many cases, be found to shift to lower values.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Design , Solar energy



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