“Thermochemical HYDROgen production in a SOLar monolithic reactor: construction and operation of a 1MW PLANT” HYDROSOL-Plant

Participants: APTL (Greece), DLR (Germany),), Hygear (Netherlands), HELPRES (Greece) and CIEMAT-PSA (Spain).
Contacts: Athanasios G. Konstandopoulos [] Alfonso Vidal,
Funding: 2.5 M€;  FCH-JU-2012.
Duration: January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2016

Background: The principal objective of HYDROSOL-PLANT is the development and demonstration operation of a plant for solar thermo-chemical hydrogen production from water in a 750 kW scale on a solar tower, based on the HYDROSOL technology.

Objectives: Based on the above, the specific Scientific and Technical Objectives of the work proposed within HYDROSOL-PLANT are the following: construct a solar hydrogen production demonstration plant in the 750 kW range to verify the developed technologies for solar thermochemical H2O splitting. Operate the plant and demonstrate hydrogen production and storage on site (at levels > 3 kg/week) [1]. Finally, the proposal is directed to perform a detailed techno-economic study for the commercial exploitation of the solar process.

Achievements in 2015:  In 2014, CIEMAT has been focused on preparation of platform, within Workpackage 5. The platform that will host the HYDROSOL-Plant is completed and ready for occupation. The receiver-reactor, as a fully assembled and fully functional system will be mounted to the 28 m platform. The 2nd floor (4 metres below) will accommodate the rest of the peripheral components.


Fig. 1a. Photograph of the front thermal shield - Fig. 1.b.  Final reactor configuration

In Fig. 1 a picture of the remodelled room is given. The front has been designed to accommodate the three receivers according to the final configuration for the reactor array.

A final configuration for the HYDROSOL reactor is summarized in Fig.1.b. The solar chemical reactor, schematically depicted consists of a 3 cylindrical cavity-receiver containing a windowed aperture and a CPC and located in an equilateral triangle. Space between optical axis was determined based on vertical space available on the tower and operation variables like spillage losses and control temperature.

In the previous plant, Hydrosol-3D, up to 70% of the incoming irradiative power is lost due to thermal re-radiation of the hot absorber surface [2]. This reduces the overall efficiency of the hydrogen production considerably. Along this year, a preliminary simulation has been carried out to get an optimized homogeneous flux that provided a low spillage. This simulation has been finished and recommendations were given.

[1] Thermochemical solar hydrogen production integrated into a power plants—a case study on the performance and economy of a 19 MW solar thermal power plant.  A. Vidal. 21st SolarPACES Conference, 13 - 16 October 2015, Cape Town, South Africa.

[2] Test operation of a 100 kW pilot plant for solar hydrogen production from water on a solar tower. M. Roeb , J.-P. Sack, P. Rietbrock, C. Prahl , H. Schreiber ,M. Neises , L. de Oliveira, D. Graf , M. Ebert , W. Reinalter , M. Meyer-Grunefeldt , C. Sattler , A. Lopez , A. Vidal , A. Elsberg , P. Stobbe , D. Jones , A. Steele , S. Lorentzou , C. Pagkoura , A. Zygogianni , C. Agrafiotis , A.G. Konstandopoulos. Solar Energy 85 (2011) 634–644