In this study a methodology is developed for the design of a packed bed reactor to be used in a Chemical Heat Pump (CHP). Adsorption and desorption of ethanol on active carbon packing in the reactor are investigated. Depending on the cycle, i.e. adsorption or desorption, cooling or heating of the reactor material is modeled through transient energy equation. The parameters associated with the vapor-carbon adsorption kinetics are experimentally determined. Then spatial distribution of temperature and adsorbed vapor amount are obtained with respect to time in adsorption desorption cycles. These profiles are used to predict heating or cooling powers and COP for different adsorbent bed geometries and adsorption/desorption cycle times. Strong effect of heat transfer resistance of the packing, hence reactor size, on the system performance is observed. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.