The transient thermal behavior of two solar receiver-reactors for hydrogen production has been modeled using Modelica/Dymola. The simulated reactors are dedicated to carry out the same chemical reactions but represent two different development stages of the project HYDROSOL and two different orders of magnitude concerning reactor size and hydrogen production capacity. The process itself is a two step thermochemical cycle, which uses mixed iron-oxides as a redox-system. The iron-oxide is coated on a ceramic substrate, which is placed inside the receiver-reactor and serves on the one hand as an absorber for solar radiation and on the other hand as the reaction zone for the chemical reaction. The process consists of a water splitting step in which hydrogen is produced and a regeneration step during which the used redox-material is being reduced. The reactor is operated between these two reaction conditions in regular intervals with alternating temperature levels of about 800 °C for the water splitting step and 1200 °C for the regeneration step. Because of this highly dynamic process and because of fluctuating solar radiation during the day, a mathematical tool was necessary to model the transient behavior of the reactor for theoretical studies. Two models have been developed for two existing receiver-reactors. One model has been set up to simulate the behavior of a small scale test reactor, which has been built and tested at the solar furnace of DLR in Cologne. Results are very promising and show that the model is able to reflect the thermal behavior of the reactor. Another model has been developed for a 100 kWth pilot reactor which was set up at the Plataforma Solar de Almeri´a in Spain. This model is based on the first model but special geometrical features had to be adapted. With this model temperatures and hydrogen production rates could be predicted.

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