A numerical investigation on thermal analysis of RPC based solar thermochemical reactor for two-step H2O splitting cycle for hydrogen production
1School of Mechanical Engineering, Lovely Professional University, Punjab, 144411, India
J Ther Eng 2023; 3(9): 614-636 DOI: 10.18186/thermal.1297556
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Ceria based solar thermochemical cycle is a high-temperature based redox chemical reactions to split H2O or CO2to produce hydrogen and/or syngas. The redox reactions are carried out in a reactor cavity thus the analysis and optimization of design as well as thermal analysis is a crucial factor to improve the solar-to-fuel conversion efficiency. This paper proposes the hybrid design of cylindrical and hemispherical cavity and its effects of geometrical parame-ters such as reticulated porous ceria (RPC) thickness (15 mm, 20 mm, and 25 mm) and gas flow gap (5 mm&10 mm) on temperature and flux distribution and solar-to-fuel efficiency for both steady-state and transient condition. A numerical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis is carried out to study heat and mass transfer as well as geometrical design consid-eration of the STCR cavity under SolTrace generated Gaussian distributed concentrated solar flux. Two-step water-splitting reaction in the Solar Thermochemical cavity reactor (STCR) using ceria (CeO2) has been modeled to explore the oxygen evolution/reaction rate and to estimate solar-to-fuel efficiency and its relationship with geometrical factors. The RPC of 25 mm thickness yields the highest oxygen evolution rate of 0.34 mL/min/gCeO2 and solar-to-fuel efficiencies are 7.82%, 12.07% and 16.18% for 15 mm, 20 mm and 25 mm of RPC thickness, respectively without heat recovery. The operating conditions and optimized geometric factors, based on result analysis and comparison, are discussed in detail.