Capabilities

Capabilities

Cascading Pressure Receiver Reactor

Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

Capability Expert

Kevin Albrecht

Class

Characterization
Process and Manufacturing Scale-Up
System Integration

Node Readiness Category

2: Solar Thermochemical (STCH)

Description

The cascading pressure reactor is a kW-sized test device, intended for two‑step hydrogen production, using simulated solar heat. Thermal reduction (TR) and water splitting (WS) in the reactor can be conducted under a wide range of relevant and realistic conditions, such as TR pressure (~10Pa) and temperature (1550 °C), WS temperature and steam flow, and many others. As a result, the performance of H2-production materials (oxides) can be comprehensively evaluated. The reactor uses a simulated solar flux, enabling continuous operation, material durability testing, and accelerated aging protocols.

Capability Bounds‎

The upper bound for thermal power input of the current reactor design is ~20kW.

Unique Aspects‎

The reactor is a unique capability within the National Labs system. It enables performance evaluation of reactive materials for solar thermochemical hydrogen production, in a working reactor, under real world conditions.

Availability‎

The reactor is located at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, and available for use with external collaborators.

Benefit‎

Reactor enables evaluation of reactive materials for solar thermochemical hydrogen production under real world conditions and provides a learning platform for up-scaling technology as well as model validation.

Images

References‎

"Cascading Pressure Thermal Reduction for Efficient Solar Fuel Production", I. Ermanoski, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 39 (2014) 13114.

"A New Reactor Concept for Efficient Solar-Thermochemical Fuel Production", I. Ermanoski, N. P. Siegel, and E. B. Stechel, Journal of Solar Energy Engineering 135 (2013) 031002.