A Second Law Approach to Characterising Thermally Stratified Hot Water Storage With Application to Solar Water Heaters

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Rosengarten, G. Morrison, M. Behnia

School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW, 2052, Australia,

J. Sol. Energy Eng 121(4), 194-200 (Nov 01, 1999) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2888166 History: Received June 01, 1999; Revised October 01, 1999; Online February 14, 2008


This paper presents a method of characterising and evaluating the performance of hot water storage systems in terms of their temperature distribution. The change in exergy from the stratified state to the delivery state depends on the stored energy and the stratification. It can thus he used to define the storage efficiency for sensible heat storage devices. A new parameter that isolates the stratification component of the exergy is defined and called the stratification efficiency. The effect of temperature distribution, delivery temperature and tank cross-section on exergy and stratification efficiency is investigated. The advantage that stratification offers over a mixed tank is examined in terms of the storage efficiency and overall solar water heating system performance. Exergy is used to assess the operation of mantle heat exchangers in solar water heating systems and it is shown that exergy and stratification efficiency, as well as energy, should be used to ascertain the performance of such heat exchangers.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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