A modular reactor model is presented for the description of solar thermochemical syngas production involving counter-flow heat exchangers that recuperate heat from the solid phase. The development of the model is described including heat diffusion within the reactive material as it travels through the heat exchanger, which was previously identified to be a possibly limiting factor in heat exchanger design. Heat transfer within the reactive medium is described by conduction and radiation, where the former is modeled with the three-resistor model and the latter with the Rosseland diffusion approximation. The applicability of the model is shown by the analysis of heat exchanger efficiency for different material thicknesses and porosities in a system with 8 chambers and oxidation and reduction temperatures of 1000 K and 1800 K, respectively. Heat exchanger efficiency is found to rise strongly for a reduction of material thickness, as the element mass is reduced and a larger part of the elements takes part in the heat exchange process. An increase of porosity enhances radiation heat exchange but deteriorates conduction. The overall heat exchange in the material is improved for high temperatures in the heat exchanger, as radiation dominates the energy transfer. The model is shown to be a valuable tool for the development and analysis of solar thermochemical reactor concepts involving heat exchange from the solid phase.
Perspectives of advanced thermal management in solar thermochemical syngas production using a counter-flow solid-solid heat exchanger
Christoph Falter, Andreas Sizmann, Robert Pitz-Paal; Perspectives of advanced thermal management in solar thermochemical syngas production using a counter-flow solid-solid heat exchanger. AIP Conf. Proc. 27 June 2017; 1850 (1): 100005. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4984462
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