The HYDROSOL Projects



Welcome to the HYDROSOL Project Site


The HYDROSOL Projects are a collaborative research effort with the objective to deliver technology for hydrogen production via direct solar water splitting.

Challenges/Problems addressed

The harnessing of the huge energy potential of solar radiation and its effective conversion to chemical fuels such as hydrogen via the dissociation of water (water splitting) is a subject of primary technological interest. The integration of solar energy concentration systems with systems capable to split water is of immense value and impact on the energetics and economics worldwide; by some this is considered as the most important long-term goal in solar fuels production to cut hydrogen costs and ensure virtually zero carbon dioxide emissions.

Through the FP5 project HYDROSOL, the participating research team has developed an innovative solar reactor for the production of hydrogen from the splitting of steam using solar energy, constructed from special refractory ceramic thin-wall, multi-channelled (honeycomb) monoliths optimized to absorb solar radiation andcoated with highly active oxygen "trapping"/water-splitting materials (based on doped oxides exhibiting redox behavior). The "proof-of-concept" of the technology has been demonstrated beyond any doubt in a pilot scale solar reactor designed, built and operating at the DLR solar furnace facility in Cologne (Germany), continuously producing "solar hydrogen".

The aim of the follow-on project HYDROSOL-II is to develop and build an optimized pilot plant (100 kWth) for solar Hydrogen production based on this novel reactor concept. The project involves further scale-up of this technology and its effective coupling with solar platform concentration systems, in order to exploit and demonstrate all potential advantages. Specific challenging problems to be solved include:

the enhancement and optimisation of the metal oxide-ceramic support system with respect to longtime stability under multi-cycle operation (more than 100 cycles)
the development and construction of a complete pilot dual absorber/receiver/reactor unit in the 100 kWth scale for solar thermochemical splitting of water
the effective coupling of this reactor to a solar heliostat field and a solar tower platform for continuous solar Hydrogen production within an optimized pilot plant (100 kWth)




The HYDROSOL II site is hosted and maintained by the Aerosol & Particle Technology Laboratory. ©2007