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[en] Numerical modeling of thermal and aerodynamic processes taking place in a solar air heater with light-absorbing L-shaped fins is performed. The study is carried out by means of an ANSYS Fluent Solver with an integrated solar calculator for the city of Samara, Russia. The influence of the design (the step between the fins) and technological variables (the Reynolds number) on heat-exchange processes and flow aerodynamics was established during the CFD analysis. Pictorial contours are determined for the velocity distribution, pressure, and other characteristics of the airflow in the solar air-heater box. Thermoaerodynamic characteristics and effective values of technological parameters for the effective use of a solar air heater are studied. The maximum thermoaerodynamic characteristic for the solar air heater with a finned lightabsorbing surface is 1.91 for Re = 1500, and the minimum test fin pitch is 30 mm.
[en] Drying is a very sophisticated process which consumes a large amount of energy. Solar energy can be used as an alternative or supplementary energy source to fossil fuels. Solar dryers are common ways for saving fossil fuel consumption during agricultural products drying. In this study, the performance of an active solar dryer equipped with an energy recovery system was investigated at three levels of drying air temperature. The results showed that the energy recovery system was able to increase inlet air temperature by 16.8, 18.5 and 18.9 ° C at drying temperatures of 55, 65 and 75 ℃, respectively. Meanwhile 47.8, 42.9 and 40.9 percents of the dryer exhaust air energy were recovered respectively at these conditions which subsequently led to a reduction of 30.7, 19.2 and 14.7 percents in electrical heater energy consumption.
[en] Graphical abstract: Photograph of the experimental set-up. - Highlights: • Thermal performance of an indirect-mode solar dryer is investigated. • Mathematical models are obtained for thin layer drying of thymus and mint. • Both thymus and mint show the constant and falling rate drying periods. - Abstract: An indirect-mode forced convection solar dryer was designed and fabricated. The thermal performance of the solar dryer under Tanta (latitude, 30° 47′ N and longitude, 31° E) prevailing weather conditions was experimentally investigated. The system consists of a double pass v-corrugated plate solar air heater connected to a drying chamber. A blower was used to force the heated air to the drying chamber. Drying experiments were performed for thymus (initial moisture content 95% on wet basis) and mint (initial moisture content 85% on wet basis) at an initial temperature of 29 °C. The final moisture contents for thymus and mint were reached after 34 and 5 h, respectively. Fourteen mathematical models of thin layer drying were tested to specify the suitable model for describing the drying behavior of the studied products. It was found that, Midilli and Kucuk model is convenient to describe the thin layer solar drying of mint. However, the Page and modified Page models were found to be the best among others for describing the drying curves of thymus
[en] Highlights: • Nu and f of perforated V-blocks in solar air heater are investigated. • There exist an optimum value of e/H, P/e and β for maximum Nu and f are found. • Better thermo hydraulic performance is achieved for perforated V-blocks. - Abstract: In this work, the effect of geometrical parameters of the V-shaped perforated blocks on heat transfer and flow characteristics of rectangular duct, has been investigated experimentally. The experimental investigation encompassed the geometrical parameter namely, relative blockage height (e/H) of 0.4–1.0, relative pitch ratio (P/e) of 4–12 and open area ratio (β) of 5–25% at a fixed angle of attack (α) of 60°. The effect of V-shaped perforated blockages has been investigated for the range of Reynolds number from 2000 to 20,000. The maximum enhancement in Nusselt and friction factor has been found to be 6.76 and 28.84 times to that of smooth duct, respectively. Thermohydraulic performance of V-shaped perforated blockages is also compared to that of V-shaped solid blockages for same geometrical parameters
[en] In this study, thermo-economic optimization of single-pass SAHs (solar air heaters) with obstacles of arcuate shape has been carried out. The research is conducted in order to compare the exergy efficiency of three different types of flat plate SAHs. Also, using NSGA-II (non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm) influencing factors were optimized. The SAHs were two different arcuate obstacles (type II and type III), and the other one had no obstacles (type I). All heater types with single and double glass cover were evaluated. The results showed that the heater with double glass cover and the obstacles (type III) had the highest function in both economic and exergetic aspects. Based on the NSGA-II results, collector with flow rate, area and the outlet temperature of 0.017 kg s−1, 2.6 m2 and 78 °C, respectively, had the best performance.
[en] Currently the market for solar heating applications in Canada is dominated by outdoor swimming pool heating, make-up air pre-heating and domestic water heating in homes, commercial and institutional buildings. All of these involve relatively small systems, except for a few air pre-heating systems on very large buildings. Together these applications make up well over 90% of the solar thermal collectors installed in Canada during 2007. These three applications, along with the recent re-emergence of large-scale concentrated solar thermal for generating electricity, also dominate the world markets. This paper examines some emerging markets for large scale solar heating applications, with a focus on the Canadian climate and market. (author)
[en] Highlights: ► Single glazed low cost solar air heater is more efficient during summer while double glazed is better in winter. ► For the same initial investment, low cost solar air heaters collect more energy than packed bed solar air heater. ► During off season low cost solar air heater can be stored inside as it is light in weight. - Abstract: Two low cost solar air heaters viz. single glazed and double glazed were designed, fabricated and tested. Thermocole, ultraviolet stabilised plastic sheet, etc. were used for fabrication to reduce the fabrication cost. These were tested simultaneously at no load and with load both in summer and winter seasons along with packed bed solar air heater using iron chips for absorption of radiation. The initial costs of single glazed and double glazed are 22.8% and 26.8% of the initial cost of packed bed solar air heater of the same aperture area. It was found that on a given day at no load, the maximum stagnation temperatures of single glazed and double glazed solar air heater were 43.5 °C and 62.5 °C respectively. The efficiencies of single glazed, double glazed and packed bed solar air heaters corresponding to flow rate of 0.02 m3/s-m2 were 30.29%, 45.05% and 71.68% respectively in winter season. The collector efficiency factor, heat removal factor based on air outlet temperature and air inlet temperature for three solar air heaters were also determined.
[en] Highlights: ► We made a prototype novel multi-surface trough solar concentrator for air heating. ► Circular and rectangular types of receiver were chosen for air heating in the test. ► The changes of instantaneous system efficiency with different air flow were obtained. ► The system has the advantage of high collection temperature, which can be over 140 °C. ► The average efficiency can exceed 45% at the outlet temperature of above 60 °C. - Abstract: This study presents the experimental test of a novel multi-surface trough solar concentrator for air heating. Three receivers of different air flow channels are individually combined with the solar concentrator. The air outlet temperature and solar irradiance were recorded for different air flow rates under the real weather condition and used to determine the collection efficiency and time constant of the air heater system. The characteristics of the solar air heater with different airflow channels are compared, and the variation of the daily efficiency with the normalized temperature change is also presented. The testing results indicates that the highest temperature of the air heater with a circular glass receiver can be over 140 °C. When the collection temperature is around 60 °C, the collection efficiency can be over 45%. For the rectangular receivers, the system also has a considerable daily efficiency at a larger air flow rate. The air heater based on the novel trough solar concentrator would be suitable for space heating and drying applications.
[en] Trombe Walls and solar chimneys are examples of passive solar air heating systems. However, the airflow and thermal efficiency characteristics of this type of system are not well understood, and partly for this reason, they are not commonly utilised. This paper reports on an experimental investigation into buoyancy-driven convection in a test rig designed to simulate the operation of a passive solar collector. The test rig comprised a vertical open-ended channel, approximately 1a square, heated from one side. The channel depth could be varied from 20mm to 110mm, and heating inputs varied from 200W to 1000W. Temperatures and airflow rates were measured and recorded, to characterise both steady-state and transient performance. The principal findings are: 1. Time constants (for heating)ranged typically between 30 and 70 minutes. 2. Flow regimes were mainly laminar (Reynolds number varing from ∼500 to ∼4000, depending on heat input and channel depth. 3. The thermal efficiency (as a solar collector and the heat transfer coefficient were functions of heat input, and were not depended on the channel depth. 4. The mass flow rate through the channel increased bath as the heat input increased and as the channel depth increased. The paper presents these findings and discusses their implications in more detail.(Author)