Technical Briefs

Characterization of a Thermosyphon Heat Exchanger for Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Cynthia A. Cruickshank, Stephen J. Harrison

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, Canada

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(2), 024502 (Mar 25, 2009) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3097279 History: Received October 25, 2006; Revised November 13, 2008; Published March 25, 2009

This paper presents a simplified test method that was developed to allow preconfigured solar domestic hot water systems that use natural convection/thermosyphon heat exchangers to be characterized. The results of this test method produce performance coefficients for simple empirical expressions that describe the fluid flow and heat transfer in the heat-exchange loop. These empirically derived coefficients can be used as an input to a general simulation routine that allows overall system performance to be determined for various loads and climatic conditions. To illustrate the test procedure, results are presented for a typical heat exchanger under a range of operational conditions.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of test apparatus used to evaluate NCHE performance

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Figure 2

Plot of experimental results showing the dependence of the thermosyphon flow rate on the pressure head

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Figure 3

Experimentally derived modified effectiveness as a function of modified capacity ratio

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Figure 4

Iterative solution procedure for the natural convection heat exchanger unit



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