Research Papers

Performance Assessment of a Heat Recovery System for Monolithic Receiver-Reactors

[+] Author and Article Information
Stefan Brendelberger, Philipp Holzemer-Zerhusen, Henrik von Storch, Christian Sattler

Institute of Solar Research,
German Aerospace Center,
Linder Höhe,
Köln, 51147, Germany

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received September 7, 2018; final manuscript received October 31, 2018; published online January 8, 2019. Guest Editors: Tatsuya Kodama, Christian Sattler, Nathan Siegel, Ellen Stechel.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(2), 021008 (Jan 08, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1417; doi: 10.1115/1.4042241 History: Received September 07, 2018; Revised October 31, 2018

The most advanced solar thermochemical cycles in terms of demonstrated reactor efficiencies are based on temperature swing operated receiver-reactors with open porous ceria foams as a redox material. The demonstrated efficiencies are encouraging but especially for cycles based on ceria as the redox material, studies have pointed out the importance of high solid heat recovery rates to reach competitive process efficiencies. Different concepts for solid heat recovery have been proposed mainly for other types of reactors, and demonstration campaigns have shown first advances. Still, solid heat recovery remains an unsolved challenge. In this study, chances and limitations for solid heat recovery using a thermal storage unit with gas as heat transfer fluid are assessed. A numerical model for the reactor is presented and used to analyze the performance of a storage unit coupled to the reactor. The results show that such a concept could decrease the solar energy demand by up to 40% and should be further investigated.

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Fig. 1

Comparison between (a) cut through realistic geometry with cylindrical symmetry and (b) simplified 1D model

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Fig. 6

Changing durations of the preheating and cooling phases for a case where phase durations do not stabilize but rather fluctuate. These results were obtained with HCR = 5 and FRF = 1.

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Fig. 5

Stabilization of phase durations with increasing number of cycles

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Fig. 4

Schematics of setup without (a) and with (b) storage

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Fig. 3

Temperature evolution: comparison of experimental results with front, mean and back temperature of RPC in simulation

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Fig. 2

Model validation—comparison of experimental (dotted) data and simulation (solid) results of the temperature evolution and the rate of O2 and CO production. Experimental data was extracted from Marxer et al. [16].

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Fig. 7

Heat recovery rate as function of the HCR after reaching a stable configuration

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Fig. 8

Heat recovery rate for storage units with different sizes as function of the iteration

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Fig. 11

Relative energy benefit reduction as a function of the HTF flow rate

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Fig. 12

Comparison of heat demand of the blower and the savings in required solar energy input during one cycle. Additionally the reference lines indicating the reduction enthalpies for reactors with 20% and 5% efficiencies.

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Fig. 9

Evolution of RPC mean temperature for a case without storage and with storage. For the storage case, the different phases are indicated.

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Fig. 10

Relative energy benefit for the coupled system with storage for different flow rates as a function of HCR



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