Thursday, November 14, 2013
Chemical Engineering Seminar
Novel materials and processes for concentrated solar thermal power and thermochemical fuels production
Aldo Steinfeld, Professor of Renewable Energy Carriers, Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH, Zurich
Current concentrated solar thermal technologies are based on solar receivers that usually operate below 500oC, coupled to steam-based Rankine cycles for power generation at 20% peak efficiency. Next generaton of technologies will operate at higher fluxes/higher temperatures and enable superior efficiencies via Brayton-Rankine combined cycles. Moreover, these advanced concepts can be applied for the thermochemical production of solar fuels.
I will present the engineering design and experimental demonstration of two novel solar receiver concepts for power and fuels production: 1) a solar receiver for heating compressed air to the entrance conditions of a gas turbine; and 2) a solar reactor for splitting H2O and CO2 via thermochemical redox cycles. Both concepts use reticulated porous ceramic (RPC) materials for efficient radiative transfer and enhanced reaction kinetics.