The Automation of Solar Thermochemical Cyclic Processes for the Reduction of Hydrogen Production Costs [Automatisierung Solar-Thermochemischer Kreisprozesse zur Reduzierung von Wasserstoffgestehungskosten (ASTOR)] is a joint research project aiming to develop a continuously operated reactor generating hydrogen by means of solar energy and water. The project is a collaboration between the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne (RFH) and Stausberg & Vosding GmbH und AWS Technik e.K.

For the first time ever, the project would regulate the cyclic solar thermal process for a fully automatic operation. The project focuses on the maximization of overall efficiency by means of heat recovery, the development of optimized heat exchangers and finally a fully automatic regulation of process parameters. Research activities at the RFH focus on the areas of modelling, simulation and control algorithms. The aim is to increase the efficiency of the process to the point at which solar thermal hydrogen production is comparable to processes currently in use – and CO₂ -neutral at the same time
The project is sponsored by LeitmarktAgentur.NRW under the NRW Hydrogen HyWay climate-protection competition, a European Union initiative.