Researchers Developed Solar Power Reactor to Store Thermal Energy

Researchers-Developed-Solar-Power-Reactor-to-Store-Thermal-Energy

Researchers from International solar thermal energy have completed successful testing of CONTISOL, a reactor capable of generating solar fuel for storage of thermal energy

The study was published in the journal Applied Thermal Engineering on February 23, 2018. CONTISOL was tested at Cologne, Germany.  Major advantage of solar fuel is that they provide zero emission and they are eco-friendly. They are considered as 100% clean source of energy for future. Scientists have examined various kinds of reactors by thermal form of solar, which uses mirrors to concentrate solar flux on a receiver. Conventional reactors burn fossil fuel for generating heat required to drive thermal chemical reaction.

As a part of examination of the system, German Aerospace Center set up a small-scale prototype under the heat of simulated suns. The device utilized temperature of 850° C and a power of 5 kW efficiently. The main of study was to examine the viability of the reactor, which can be scaled up for commercial use. “So the main idea of CONTISOL was to build two reactors together. One where sunlight is directly doing chemical processing. The other side for storing energy. In the chemical channels the high temperatures of the material drive the chemical reaction and you get a change from reactants to products within those channels, and in the air channels cooler air goes in the front and hotter air comes out the back,” said Justin Lapp, lead author of a paper.

Also, researchers report that this scientific prototype helps to understand control and operations of the reactor. The system will not be commercialized at 5 kW. 1 to 5 MW would be about the smallest for industrial-scale reactors. Furthermore, the team is working on modifying design, material, and chemical processes involved in the study.

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