Solar Hydrogen

Application of solar concentrating technologies to high-temperature processes is another field of enormous importance in PSA. The best known application so far is bulk electricity generation through thermodynamic cycles, but other applications have also been demonstrated, such as production of hydrogen and solar fuels.
Some high temperature endothermic reactions for converting solar energy into chemical fuels are been investigated by CIEMAT-PSA through a range of indirect water-splitting techniques, as well as hybrid systems involving solar-driven fossil fuels transformation to hydrogen. A specific activity line for solar hydrogen exists at the laboratory of the Solar Concentrating Systems Unit to support at lab scale the PSA R+D activities related to solar hydrogen, which are performed in the outdoor test facilities. This lab activity line uses an indoor versatile solar characterization loop located at CIEMAT-Moncloa (Madrid).
The characterization loop installed at Madrid has the following capabilities:

  • A set of lab equipment with the instrumentation necessary for evaluation of innovative processes for hydrogen production: A tubular furnace, a high-temperature kiln; and for analysis, a gas chromatograph (Varian CP4900) equipped with a molecular sievecolumn and a TCD detector etc.
  • A Thermogravimetric Equipment STA 449 F1 for simultaneous TGA-DSC analysis. This equipment has two exchangeable furnaces: a SiC for high temperature reaction (1600°C) and water vapour kiln up to 1200°C.
Indoor Solar Simulation Loop for evaluation of hydrogen production processes