Radiation heat transfer within a solar chemical reactor for the co-production of zinc and syngas is analyzed by the Monte Carlo ray-tracing method. The reactor is treated as a 3D nonisothermal cavity-receiver lined with ZnO particles that are directly exposed to concentrated solar irradiation and undergo endothermic reduction by CH4 at above 1300 K. The analysis includes coupling to conduction/convection heat transfer and chemical kinetics. A calculation of the apparent absorptivity indicates the cavity’s approach to a blackbody absorber, for either diffuse or specular reflecting inner walls. Numerically calculated temperature distributions, zinc production rates, and thermal efficiencies are validated with experimental measurements in a solar furnace with a 5-kW prototype reactor. At 1600 K, the zinc production rate reached 0.12 mol/min and the reactor’s thermal efficiency exceeded 16%. Scaling up the reactor to power levels of up to 1 MW while keeping constant the relative geometrical dimensions and the solar power flux at 2000 suns results in thermal efficiencies of up to 54%.
Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer Modeling of a Solar Chemical Reactor for The Co-Production of Zinc and Syngas
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division and presented at the ISEC2004 Portland, Oregon, July 1–14, 2004 of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Division April 27, 2004; final revision May 5, 2004. Associate Editor: J. Davidson.
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Kra¨upl, S., and Steinfeld, A. (February 7, 2005). "Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer Modeling of a Solar Chemical Reactor for The Co-Production of Zinc and Syngas ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. February 2005; 127(1): 102–108. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1824105
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