Thermal characterization of a cavity receiver for hydrogen production by thermochemical cycles operating at moderate temperatures

Michela Lanchi, Francesca Varsano, Bruno Brunetti, Maria Anna Murmura, Maria Cristina Annesini, Luca Turchetti, Roberto Grena

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The manganese-ferrite thermochemical cycle developed by ENEA for hydrogen production, whose maximum temperature level lays in the range 750-800. °C, has a high potential for coupling with the solar source using conventional structural materials. As a first step for the on sun feasibility validation of the cycle, an experimental survey of the thermal performance of a receiver-reactor designed by ENEA, to be powered by a solar furnace (1. kW), has been carried out in the absence of a reaction. The temperature distribution over the reactor chamber as a function of solar irradiation has been measured and the thermal inertia of the system has been evaluated. The experimental results confirm that the reactor temperature and inertia are compatible with the manganese-ferrite cycle and other cycles operating at moderate temperatures. In order to set the basis for the evaluation of this and other similar prototypes, a finite element model (FEM) has been developed to describe the thermofluidodynamic behavior of the reactor. Good agreement between calculated and experimental data has been obtained; therefore this model will be improved and extended to describe both the hydrogen and oxygen releasing reactions of the manganese-ferrite cycle, with the aim of optimizing the reactor design. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256 - 268
Number of pages13
JournalSolar Energy
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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