Solar thermal collectors and applications

Solar collectors

Solar energy collectors are special kind of heat exchangers that transform solar radiation energy to internal energy of the transport medium. The major component of any solar system is the solar collector. This is a device which absorbs the incoming solar radiation, converts it into heat, and transfers this heat to a fluid (usually air, water, or oil) flowing through the collector. The solar energy thus collected is carried from the circulating fluid either directly to the hot water or space conditioning equipment, or to a thermal energy storage tank from which can be drawn for use at night and/or cloudy days.

There are basically two types of solar collectors: non­concentrating or stationary and concentrating. A non­concentrating collector has the same area for intercepting and for absorbing solar radiation, whereas a sun-tracking concentrating solar collector usually has concave reflecting surfaces to intercept and focus the sun’s beam radiation to a smaller receiving area, thereby increasing the radiation flux. A large number of solar collectors are available in the market. A comprehensive list is shown in Table 1 [20].

In this section a review of the various types of collectors currently available will be presented. This includes FPC, ETC, and concentrating collectors.

Solar thermal collectors and applications

Collector thermal efficiency

In reality the heat loss coefficient UL in Eqs (2) and (42) is not constant but is a function of collector inlet and ambient temperatures. Therefore: TOC o "1-5" h …

Global climate change

The term greenhouse effect has generally been used for the role of the whole atmosphere (mainly water vapour and clouds) in keeping the surface of the earth warm. Recently however, …

Limitations of simulations

Simulations are powerful tools for process design offering a number of advantages as outlined in the previous sections. However, there are limits to their use. For example, it is easy …

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