• Project state


  • Type of project

    Competitive project

  • Begin date

    01 June 2021

  • End date

    31 May 2023

The Swiss company Synhelion SA is currently developing an innovative solar receiver, capable of operating at ultra-high temperature levels (1’000°C – 1’500°C), suitable to drive high energy demand processes such as thermochemical (e.g. reforming, gasification, thermochemical cycles) or industrial process heat (e.g., cement pyroprocessing). As opposed to conventional commercial receivers, whose operating temperature is currently lower than 600°C, the working principle of the proposed solution, similar to greenhouse effect, is based on the direct absorption of thermal radiation by a gaseous heat transfer fluid (HTF) namely water vapour or carbon dioxide. After an extensive preliminary theoretical analysis, a small-scale receiver prototype (200 kWth) was constructed and successfully tested at the DLR Synlight facility (DE), the world’s largest solar simulator, showing, not only the feasibility of this innovative receiver concept, but also a substantially higher energy conversion efficiency and HTF outflow temperature with respect to state of the art solar receivers. This project aims at further advancing with the receiver development, taking advantage from the knowledge acquired during the two previous BFE-funded projects (ReceiverSIM SI/501618-01 and FUELREC SI/501796-01) especially in terms of both experimental tests and information that can be obtained through the purpose-developed numerical model exploiting a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach, to arrive at the design of a 1 MW pre-commercial scale receiver prototype.

Project responsible
  • Simone Zavattoni

Project members
  • Maurizio Barbato

  • Riccardo Toffanin

  • Riccardo Puragliesi

  • Edoardo Arrivabeni

  • Luca Cornolti