Solar Energy Laboratory

Facilities > Thermochemistry

The Solar Energy Laboratory's extensive thermochemistry facilities are used to study heat and mass transfer, chemical kinetics and thermodynamics of materials and processes relevant to the production of solar fuels. Equipment and instrumentation includes seven electric furnaces capable of temperatures as high as 1700°C, an Agilent gas chromatograph with TCD and FID detectors, a fast response mass spectrometer, a Raman laser gas analyzer, and a Particle Image Velocimeter system for fluid flow measurements. An infrared imaging furnace (Ulvac-Riko VHT-E-44) provides critical functionality for studying high temperature metal redox cycles. By focusing infrared radiation from tungsten lamps in elliptical reflectors, the furnace can achieve rapid heat delivery rates, which permit sample temperatures up to 1700°C. Furthermore, the furnace allows for the rapid and automated cycling (1000°C/min) of the sample between reducing and oxidizing environments. Laboratory computers and data acquisition equipment are networked and include a wide range of software for data analysis, chemical system and process analysis, and computational fluid dynamics.

A solar-driven thermogravimeter (TGA) is used to perform reactivity tests of new materials and reactive structures using concentrated radiation.