Simulation of a Solar Pond Using Upward Flow Through the Storage Zone

[+] Author and Article Information
D. Preston Lowrey

San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182

R. R. Johnson

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. 27695-7910

J. Sol. Energy Eng 108(4), 325-331 (Nov 01, 1986) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3268114 History: Received July 01, 1985; Online November 11, 2009


This paper proposes a design modification that would reduce heat losses to the ground from the Storage Zone (SZ) of a solar pond, while increasing the rate of heat extraction. This modification would use a thermally stratified, opaque SZ, and would induce a slow, upward flow by decanting warmed water near the top of the SZ and then returning this water to the bottom of the SZ after removing some heat. This innovation would help sensible heating applications, especially heating water up from ambient temperature, but would not help latent heating applications such as electric power cycles. A computer simulation of this design predicts heat extraction rates 13-62 percent higher than in conventional ponds. Gains are greatest if the return flow at the bottom of the SZ is near the ambient temperature, if the peak temperature of the heat extracted is high, or if water clarity in the upper pond layers is poor.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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