An analysis is presented to predict the heat transfer characteristics of a plane layer of a semitransparent, high-temperature, porous material which is irradiated by an intense solar flux. A transient, combined conduction and radiation heat transfer model, which is based on a two-flux approximation for the radiation, is used to predict the temperature distribution and heat transfer in the material. Numerical results have been obtained using thermophysical and radiative properties of zirconia as a typical material. The results show that radiation is an important mode of heat transfer, even when the opacity of the material is large (τL > 100). Radiation is the dominant mode of heat transfer in the front third of the material and comparable to conduction toward the back. The semitransparency and high single scattering albedo of the zirconia combine to produce a maximum temperature in the interior of the material.

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