International Scientific Journal

Authors of this Paper

External Links


Solar-driven thermochemical water splitting cycle is a promising, energy efficient and environmentally friendly approach to produce hydrogen. In this paper, numerical work has been undertaken using a cylindrical solar receiver to investigate fixed and variable aperture sizes to maintain constant steady-state temperature over a day for thermochemical part of a novel hybrid photo-thermochemical sulfur-ammonia cycle. A previously developed and validated optical model in commercial software, TracePro® is used to simulate the light sources of 10, 15, and 28 kW. The sunlight intensity variations for the designated reference day for this study is selected as July 1, 2011, at 39.74 N, 105.18 W and at an elevation of 1829 m. A developed and validated finite volume based coupled Monte Carlo, Heat Transfer model is used to calculate the steady-state temperatures in the receiver by utilizing the output of the optical model. The simulations are performed at different aperture diameters from 2 to 14 cm to quantify the effect of fixed aperture size on the steady-state temperatures of the receiver. Furthermore, simulations to maintain steady-state temperatures of 673, 823, and 1123 K for different sub-cycles of the selected cycle via variable aperture has been performed and compared with selected fixed apertures. It is found that the variable apertures can maintain desired constant temperatures over the day for each thermochemical sub-cycle. The comparison of overall power consumption and savings for fixed and variable apertures has also been investigated and reported.
PAPER REVISED: 2015-05-25
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2015-05-25
CITATION EXPORT: view in browser or download as text file
THERMAL SCIENCE YEAR 2017, VOLUME 21, ISSUE Issue 2, PAGES [953 - 962]
  1. Steinfeld, A., Solar hydrogen production via a two-step water-splitting thermochemical cycle based on Zn/ZnO redox reactions, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 27 (2002),6, pp. 611-619 DOI No.
  2. Nakamura, T., Hydrogen production from water utilizing solar heat at high temperatures, Solar Energy, 19 (1977),5, pp. 467-475
  3. Weidenkaff, A., et al., Thermogravimetric analysis of the ZnO/Zn water splitting cycle, Thermochimica Acta, 359 (2000),1, pp. 69-75
  4. Moeller, S., Entwicklung eines Reaktors zur solarthermischen Herstellung von Zink aus Zinkoxid zur Energiespeicherung mit hilfe konzentrierte Sonnenstrahlung, PhD Thesis, ETH - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland, 2001
  5. Weidenkaff, A., et al., Direct solar thermal dissociation of zinc oxide: Condensation and crystallisation of zinc in the presence of oxygen, Solar Energy, 65 (1999),1, pp. 59-69
  6. Palumbo, R.D. and E.A. Fletcher, High temperature solar electrothermal processing-III. Zinc from zinc oxide at 1200-1675K using a non-consumable anode, Energy, 13 (1988),4, pp. 319-332
  7. T-Raissi, A., et al., Hydrogen From Solar Via Light-Assisted High-Temperature Water Splitting Cycles, Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, 129 (2006),2, pp. 184-189 DOI No. 10.1115/1.2710493
  8. Huang, C., et al. Hydrogen production via UV photolysis of aqueous ammonium sulfite solutions. Proceedings, WHEC 16. Lyon, France,2006, Vol. 2, pp. 1010-1018
  9. Huang, C., et al. Hydrogen production via photocatalytic oxidation of aqueous ammonium sulfite solutions. Proceedings, WHEC 16. Lyon, France,2006, Vol. 1, pp. 591-599
  10. Huang, C., et al. Efficiency of the sulfur-ammonia solar thermochemical water splitting cycle for the production of hydrogen. Proceedings, WMSCI 2007 - The 11th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, Jointly with the 13th International Conference on Information Systems Analysis and Synthesis, ISAS 2007. Orlando, FL; United States,2007, Vol. 5, pp. 338-346
  11. T-Raissi, A., et al., Solar High-Temperature Water-Splitting Cycle with Quantum Boost, Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME, II.I.2 (2008),1, pp. 254 - 259
  12. Hirsch, D. and A. Steinfeld, Solar hydrogen production by thermal decomposition of natural gas using a vortex-flow reactor, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 29 (2004),1, pp. 47-55 DOI No.
  13. Abanades, S. and G. Flamant, Thermochemical hydrogen production from a two-step solar-driven water-splitting cycle based on cerium oxides, Solar Energy, 80 (2006),12, pp. 1611-1623 DOI No.
  14. Kodama, T., et al., Flux Measurement of a New Beam-down Solar Concentrating System in Miyazaki for Demonstration of Thermochemical Water Splitting Reactors, Energy Procedia, 49 (2014),0, pp. 1990-1998 DOI No.
  15. Sarwar, J., et al., Experimental and numerical investigation of the aperture size effect on the efficient solar energy harvesting for solar thermochemical applications, Energy Conversion and Management, 92 (2015),0, pp. 331-341 DOI No.
  16. Jubb, A., Solar heat aperture control apparatus, Rolls-Royce Limited, (1980).Patent No. US4222367 A, pp. 5
  17. Abdulla, S., et al. Design, manufacturing and testing of a camera-like aperture mechanism for a solar reactor. Proceedings, ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Denver, Colorado, USA,2011, Vol. 3, pp. 305-319
  18. Ozalp, N., et al., A smart solar reactor for environmentally clean chemical processing, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 25 (2011), pp. 989-994 DOI No. 10.3303/CET1125165
  19. Wu, Z., et al., Three-dimensional numerical study of heat transfer characteristics of parabolic trough receiver, Applied Energy, 113 (2014),0, pp. 902-911 DOI No.
  20. Fuqiang, W., et al., Thermal performance analysis of porous medium solar receiver with quartz window to minimize heat flux gradient, Solar Energy, 108 (2014),0, pp. 348-359 DOI No.
  21. Xiao, X., et al., Experimental and numerical heat transfer analysis of a V-cavity absorber for linear parabolic trough solar collector, Energy Conversion and Management, 86 (2014),0, pp. 49-59 DOI No.
  22. Sarwar, J., et al., Description and characterization of an adjustable flux solar simulator for solar thermal, thermochemical and photovoltaic applications, Solar Energy, 100 (2014),0, pp. 179-194 DOI No.
  23. ***. Solar Radiation Research Laboratory, Daily Plots and Raw data files,

© 2023 Society of Thermal Engineers of Serbia. Published by the Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, National Institute of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International licence