Concentrated solar thermochemical storage in the form of a zero-emission fuel is a promising option to produce long-duration energy storage. The production of solar fuel can occur within a cylindrical cavity chemical reactor that captures concentrated solar radiation from a solar field. A heat transfer model of a tubular plug-flow reactor is presented. Experimental data from a fixed bed tubular reactor are used for model comparison. The system consists of an externally heated tube with counter-current flowing gas and moving solid particles as the heated media. The proposed model simulates the dynamic behavior of temperature profiles of the tube wall, gas, and particles under various gas flow rates and residence times. The heat transfer between gas-wall, solid particle-wall, gas-solid particle, are numerically studied. The model is compared with experiments using a 4 kW furnace with a 150 mm heating zone surrounding a horizontal alumina tube (reactor) with 50.8 mm OD and a thickness of 3.175 mm. Solid fixed particles of magnesium manganese oxide (MgMn2O4) with the size of 1 mm are packed within the length of 250 mm at the center of the tube length. Simulation results are assessed with respect to fixed bed experimental data for four different gas flow rates, namely 5, 10, 15, 20 standard liters per minute of air, and furnace temperatures in the range of 200 to 1200 °C. The simulation results showed good agreement with maximum steady state error that is less than 6% of those obtained from the experiments among all runs. The proposed model can be implemented as a low-order physical model for the control of temperature inside plug-flow reactors for thermochemical energy storage (TCES) applications.

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