The DLR Solar Furnace in Cologne is a facility that concentrates solar radiation for research experiments. It offers many different possibilities of using concentrated solar radiation to scientists and industrial users. Most of the experiments are from the research fields ‘Solar Chemistry’, ‘Solar Thermal’, and ‘Material Research’. In a recent experiment series the solar thermal hydrogen production is investigated. This experiment is based on a two-step thermochemical water splitting process. In the first step steam is decomposed by a low-valence metal oxide coated on a ceramic support at 800°C, leading to hydrogen and a higher valence state of the metal oxide. In the second regeneration step the oxygen is released from the metal oxide using an inert purge gas and a temperature range of 1100–1200°C. In the new concept two reaction chambers had the task to perform a quasi-continuous process, having one reactor in the hydrogen production mode, and the other in the regeneration mode. The DLR Solar Furnace usually generates a single high flux focal spot. For the new approach we had to realign the concentrator in order to get two focal spots. Both of them had to have the same power and beam shape. Furthermore, a power regulation was necessary for both focal spots, as the two process steps needed different temperature levels and therefore a temperature control option.

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