A transient heat transfer model is developed for a solar reactor prototype for H2O and CO2 splitting via two-step non-stoichiometric ceria cycling. Counter-rotating cylinders of reactive and inert materials cycling between high and low temperature zones permit continuous operation and heat recovery. To guide the reactor design a transient three-dimensional heat transfer model is developed based on transient energy conservation, accounting for conduction, convection, radiation, and chemical reactions. The model domain includes the rotating cylinders, a solar receiver cavity, and insulated reactor body. Radiative heat transfer is analyzed using a combination of the Monte Carlo method, Rosseland diffusion approximation, and the net radiation method. Quasi-steady state distributions of temperatures, heat fluxes, and the non-stoichiometric coefficient are reported. Ceria cycles between temperatures of 1708 K and 1376 K. A heat recovery effectiveness of 28% and solar-to-fuel efficiency of 5.2% are predicted for an unoptimized reactor design.

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