The unsteady 3D fluid flow coupled to radiative, convective, and conductive heat transfers are computed within a cavity-receiver that was successfully tested experimentally. A Monte-Carlo radiation model is used in the fluid regions of the reactor with source terms outside the cavity’s window to account for the concentrated radiative power input. Darcy’s law for the viscous regime and the Forchheimer’s term for the inertial regime are used in the momentum equation to account for the pressure drop within the porous region (RPC).
Two separate energy equations for the solid and for the fluid regions of the porous domain are solved in order to capture the non-equilibrium effects in that region. Rosseland diffusion approximation is used in the solid regions of the RPC domain. The material properties and boundary conditions were taken from published experimental measurements. The simulation results are compared to the measurement data collected during the pre-heating and the ceria reduction phases, which sum up to four different radiative power inputs. Results of the comparison are very good and constitute the verification that the numerical methods, physical sub-process models and material properties are adequately selected and implemented. An analysis regarding the heat balance, the recirculating flow and, the effect of dual-scale porosity is also presented.