A prototype direct absorption central receiver, called the solid particle receiver (SPR), was recently built and tested on-sun at Sandia National Laboratories. The SPR consists of a 6 m tall cavity through which a 1 m wide curtain of spherical ceramic particles is dropped and directly heated with concentrated solar energy. The focus of this current effort is to provide an experimental basis for the validation of computational models that have been created to support the development of the solid particle receiver as a solar interface for thermochemical hydrogen and solar power systems. In this paper we present detailed information on the design and construction of the receiver as well as test data including the temperature change of the particles and internal cavity walls. We conclude with a discussion of the steps needed to demonstrate the overall feasibility of the SPR concept.

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