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Design Innovation

A Novel Design for a Cheap High Temperature Solar Collector: The Rotating Solar Boiler

[+] Author and Article Information
Jeroen P. H. van Luijtelaer

Process Equipment Section, Department of Process and Energy Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Leeghwaterstraat 44, 2628 CA Delft, The Netherlandsj.p.h.vanluijtelaer@tudelft.nl

Maaike C. Kroon

Process Equipment Section, Department of Process and Energy Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Leeghwaterstraat 44, 2628 CA Delft, The Netherlands

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(2), 025001 (Apr 09, 2009) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3097268 History: Received December 10, 2007; Revised October 08, 2008; Published April 09, 2009

In this work a novel type of high temperature solar collector is designed: the rotating solar boiler. This rotating solar boiler consists of two concentric tubes. The inner tube, called absorber, absorbs sunlight and boils water. The outer transparent tube, called cover, is filled with air. The boiler rotates to completely prevent convection in the insulating air layer in between the tubes. In this way, the heat loss is reduced considerably resulting in a solar collector that is more efficient than conventional flat plate solar collectors. The prototype built measured 1.20 m length and 0.50 m diameter (illuminated area is 0.60m2) for the copper absorber with high performance sputtered coating. The cover with a diameter of 0.90 m was made of transparent polyvinylchloride film. The rotation speed was 60 rpm. The efficiency was 61% and the boiler delivered 0.34 kW of 100°C steam at an ambient temperature of 7°C. A model was developed to predict the performance of the prototype. The model predicts an efficiency of 62%, which is in agreement with the measured experimental efficiency. An economical analysis was performed as well. The rotating solar boiler is much cheaper than conventional evacuated tube collectors, especially because the rotating solar boiler is lightweight.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 2

Prototype of the rotating solar boiler

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Figure 3

Solar irradiance and steam produced as a function of time (T0=7°C); reflectors are used during the first 20 min to enhance the heating up rate

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Figure 4

Theoretical efficiency as a function of temperature difference divided by solar irradiance

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Figure 1

Schematic of the rotating solar boiler

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