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Numerical Study of a Beam-Down Solar Thermochemical Reactor for Chemical Kinetics Analysis

[+] Author Affiliations
Selvan Bellan, Cristina Cerpa Saurez, Jose Gonzalez-Aguilar, Manuel Romero

IMDEA Energy Institute, Móstoles, Spain

Paper No. ES2014-6573, pp. V001T02A039; 8 pages
  • ASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 1: Combined Energy Cycles, CHP, CCHP, and Smart Grids; Concentrating Solar Power, Solar Thermochemistry and Thermal Energy Storage; Geothermal, Ocean, and Emerging Energy Technologies; Hydrogen Energy Technologies; Low/Zero Emission Power Plants and Carbon Sequestration; Photovoltaics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 30–July 2, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4586-8
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


A lab-scale solar thermochemical reactor is designed and fabricated to study the thermal reduction of non-volatile metal oxides, which operates simultaneously as solar collector and as chemical reactor. The main purpose of this reactor is to achieve the first step in two-step thermochemical cycles. The chemical conversion rate strongly depends on the temperature and fluid flow distribution around the reactant, which are determined by the reactor geometry. The optimal design depends on the constraints of the problem and on the operating parameters. Hence, the objective of this investigation is to analyze the heat and mass transfer in the vertically-oriented chemical reactor by a CFD model and to optimize the reactor design. The developed numerical model is validated by comparing the simulation results with reported model. The influence of different technical and operating parameters on the temperature distribution and the fluid flow of the reactor are studied.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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