Hydrodynamic Instability of Solar Thermosyphon Water Heaters

[+] Author and Article Information
S. C. Du, B. J. Huang, R. H. Yen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan 10764, Republic of China

J. Sol. Energy Eng 116(1), 53-62 (Feb 01, 1994) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2930066 History: Received April 29, 1992; Revised August 03, 1993; Online June 06, 2008


The flow instability of a solar thermosyphon water heater is studied analytically. A system dynamics model is derived by means of a one-dimensional approach and a linear perturbation method. The characteristic equation is obtained and the Nyquist criterion is used to examine the flow stability. The parameter M is a dimensionless parameter of system stability. The stability maps are plotted in terms of 14 parameters. The occurrence of hydrodynamic instability is determined by comparing the stability curves and the designed values of M. Flow instability is shown not to occur in most of solar water heaters commercially available, because the loop friction is relatively high in the design and because solar irradiation in field operation is still not high enough to cause flow instability.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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