Smart solar reactor for emission-free production of solar fuels and solar commodities
Speaker: Nesrin Ozalp, Texas A&M at Qatar
Series: Other Events
Location: J223 Equad
Date/Time: Monday, March 5, 2012, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Abstract: The impending shortage of fossil fuels and environmental consequences of fossil fuel consumption are two of the most imperative problems in the world. This presentation is about a novel design of a solar reactor cavity system which can produce solar fuels and solar commodities with zero emission footprints. The presentation focuses on a unique solar thermo-chemical process known as Solar Cracking, which has two implicit major problems preventing it from commercialization and the solutions to those problems:
(1) Inherently transient nature of the solar energy causes intrinsic losses in energy conversion efficiency as a result of the fluctuation in reactor temperature and corresponding re-radiation losses. Literature on solar reactors reveals a distinct focus on optimal reactor design for steady state efficiency, but little regarding transient inefficiencies. This presentation provides an advanced perception to solar cracking reactors by presenting you the latest results of our research at Sustainable Energy Research Lab on the design of a smart solar reactor that is sensitive to variations in solar flux and can adjust itself according to the changes in weather conditions to maintain quasi-equilibrium internal conditions.
(2) Carbon particle deposition on the reactor window, walls, and at the exit causes a significant problem, particularly; carbon deposition at the exit causes reactor explosion. There have been many innovative reactor designs aimed to achieve increased conversion efficiencies through novel flows from vortex-flow to tornado, and from fluidized bed to rotating cavity. The designs of these reactors result in improved overall efficiencies, but have not solved the carbon deposition problem. Our latest research results at Sustainable Energy Research Lab shows that our aero-shielded solar cyclone reactor concept significantly eliminates this problem via its novel design composed of a laminar flow shield covering the walls as a thin layer flow and a cyclone in the center enhancing the residence time. This presentation will show you the results of our research on this concept with a three dimensional animation of the reactor developed at our Immersive Visualization Facilities.
Nesrin Ozalp is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University at Qatar. She received her Ph.D. from University of Washington Mechanical Engineering Department, M.Sc. from Stanford University Mechanical Engineering Department and her undergraduate degree from Ege University in Turkey. Dr. Ozalp specializes in the areas of designing novel solar reactors for emission-free generation of solar fuels and solar commodities. She is the Lead Principle Investigator of research projects adding $2M+ and the lead author or co-author of 50+ peer reviewed journal and conference papers. Currently her aero-shielded smart solar cyclone reactor concept for emission-free production of hydrogen is under commercialization via a corporate agreement with Fraunhofer Institute of Germany and Qatar Foundation. About her smart solar reactor concept, she has given many invited talks at research institutes such as CNRS-France, DLR-Germany, Stanford University, U.S. DOE etc. including an upcoming keynote speech at NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) in Russia. She is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the recipient of many international research and teaching awards including the Texas A&M Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Teaching Award.