Thermal Performance in Multi-Pass Solar Systems With Well-Mixed Storage

[+] Author and Article Information
J. M. Gordon, Y. Zarmi

Applied Solar Calculations Unit, Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Israel 84990

J. Sol. Energy Eng 109(2), 94-100 (May 01, 1987) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3268199 History: Received September 01, 1985; Online November 11, 2009


An approximate analysis of multi-pass, closed-loop solar systems with well-mixed storage tanks is presented. The thermal coupling of the storage tank both to the collector-storage loop (“charging” cycle) and the load-storage loop (“discharging” cycle) is shown to reduce system performance by a penalty factor, called the partial depletion factor, when compared to one-pass, open-loop systems in which the storage fluid is completely consumed by the load by the end of each 24-hour day (total depletion). This penalty factor is typically around 20 percent for systems with a daytime-only load and 30 percent for systems with a nighttime-only load. Our analysis provides, for the first time, the explanation for the findings of various experiments and numerical simulations. We establish the approximate validity of a “quasi-steady state” approach, wherein actual system performance is approximated by a calculation based on the repetition of one representative day. The approach is general in that it is applicable to all solar collector types.

Copyright © 1987 by ASME
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