Optimal Control of Mass Flow Rates in Flat Plate Solar Collectors

[+] Author and Article Information
R. C. Winn

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University; USAF

C. B. Winn

Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo. 80523

J. Sol. Energy Eng 103(2), 113-120 (May 01, 1981) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3266216 History: Received January 02, 1981; Online November 11, 2009


The optimal flat plate collector fluid flow rate is determined for several combinations of objective functions and system models. The method of implementing the control strategy for one of the problems considered, that which maximizes the integral of the difference between the collected solar power and fluid moving power, is described. The performance of the solar energy collection system in Solar House II at Colorado State University using this optimal controller is discussed and compared with the same system using bang-bang control. In addition, the dependence of the collector efficiency factor on flow rate is considered and its effect on the optimal control is determined.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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