Research Papers

Numerical Investigation of Thermal Characteristics in a Solar Chimney Project

[+] Author and Article Information
Hongtao Xu

e-mail: htxu@usst.edu.cn

Mo Yang

School of Energy and Power Engineering,
University of Shanghai for Science and
Shanghai 200093, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received August 10, 2012; final manuscript received May 15, 2013; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Yves Gagnon.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(1), 011008 (Jul 16, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1197; doi: 10.1115/1.4024742 History: Received August 10, 2012; Revised May 15, 2013

In order to create interior multiclimate zones suitable for plant cultivation in a solar chimney project proposed for the World Horticultural Exposition 2016 in China, the numerical investigation is performed to a solar chimney with 2 km radius and 1 km height. The simulation methodology is validated by experimental data. The impacts of inlet height and radius to interior thermal characteristics are evaluated. It is found that the temperature field is much similar when the inlet height decreases from 3.8 m to 0.5 m. With further decrease of the inlet height to 0.2 m, its impact to temperature field is significant. The temperature field is similar though the radius of solar chimney decreases from 2.0 km to 1.725 km. Further decrease to 1.13 km results in much lower temperature field as less radiate heat is obtained. The procedure of soil surface temperature calculation is also proposed to obtain the supplementary heat amount maintaining the required temperature for plant cultivation.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Cabanyes, I., 1903, “Proyecto de Motor Solar,” La Energia Eléctrica–Revista General de Electricidad y sus Aplicaciones, 8, pp. 61–65.
Pretorius, J., and Kröger, D., 2006, “Critical Evaluation of Solar Chimney Power Plant Performance,” Sol. Energy, 80(5), pp. 535–544. [CrossRef]
Nizetic, S., Ninic, N., and Klarin, B., 2008, “Analysis and Feasibility of Implementing Solar Chimney Power Plants in the Mediterranean Region,” Energy, 33(11), pp. 1680–1690. [CrossRef]
Fluri, T., Pretorius, J., Van, D. C., Von, B. T., Kröger, D., and Van, Z. G., 2009, “Cost Analysis of Solar Chimney Power Plants,” Sol. Energy, 83(2), pp. 246–256. [CrossRef]
Zhou, X., Yang, J., Wang, F., and Xiao, B., 2009, “Economic Analysis of Power Generation From Floating Solar Chimney Power Plant,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 13(4), pp. 736–749. [CrossRef]
Zhou, X., Wang, F., and Ochieng, R., 2010, “A Review of Solar Chimney Power Technology,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 14(8), pp. 2315–2338. [CrossRef]
Khanal, R., and Leo, C., “Solar Chimney—A Passive Strategy for Natural Ventilation,” Energy Build., 43(8), pp. 1811–1819. [CrossRef]
Gannon, A., and Von, B. T., 2000, “Solar Chimney Cycle Analysis With System Loss and Solar Collector Performance,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 122, pp. 133–137. [CrossRef]
Schlaich, J., Bergermann, R., Schiel, W., and Weinrebe, G., 2005, “Design of Commercial Solar Updraft Tower Systems Utilization of Solar Induced Convective Flows for Power Generation,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 127, pp. 117–124. [CrossRef]
Ming, T., Liu, W., and Xu, G., 2006, “Analytical and Numerical Investigation of the Solar Chimney Power Plant Systems,” Int. J. Energy Res., 30, pp. 861–873. [CrossRef]
Hamdan, M., 2011, “Analysis of a Solar Chimney Power Plant in the Arabian Gulf Region,” Renewable Energy, 36, pp. 2593–2598. [CrossRef]
Zhou, X., Yang, J., Xiao, B., Hou, G., and Xing, F., 2009, “Analysis of Chimney Height for Solar Chimney Power Plant,” Appl. Therm. Eng., 29, pp. 178–185. [CrossRef]
Koonsrisuk, A., and Chitsomboon, T., 2009, “Accuracy of Theoretical Models in the Prediction of Solar Chimney Performance,” Sol. Energy, 83, pp. 1764–1771. [CrossRef]
Koonsrisuk, A., and Chitsomboon, T., 2009, “A Single Dimensionless Variable for Solar Chimney Power Plant Modeling,” Sol. Energy, 83, pp. 2136–2143. [CrossRef]
4Bernardes, M., Valle, R., and Cortez, M., 1999, “Numerical Analysis of Natural Laminar Convection in a Radial Solar Heater,” Int. J. Therm. Sci., 38, pp. 42–50. [CrossRef]
Ming, T., Liu, W., Xu, G., Xiong, Y., Guan, X., and Pan, Y., 2008, “Numerical Simulation of the Solar Chimney Power Plant Systems Coupled With Turbine,” Renewable Energy, 33, pp. 897–905. [CrossRef]
Ming, T., Liu, W., Pan, Y., and Xu, G., 2008, “Numerical Analysis of Flow and Heat Transfer Characteristics in Solar Chimney Power Plants With Energy Storage Layer,” Energy Convers. Manage., 49, pp. 2872–2879. [CrossRef]
Zhou, X., Yang, J., Ochieng, R., Li, X., and Xiao, B., 2009, “Numerical Investigation of a Plume From a Power Generating Solar Chimney in an Atmospheric Cross Flow,” Atmos. Res., 91, pp. 26–35. [CrossRef]
Xu, C., Song, Z., Chen, L., and Zhen, Y., 2011, “Numerical Investigation on Porous Media Heat Transfer in a Solar Tower Receiver,” Renewable Energy, 36, pp. 1138–1144. [CrossRef]
Robert, R., 1982, “Hot Air Starts to Rise Through Span's Solar Chimney,” Electr. Rev., 2, pp. 1–3. [CrossRef]
Haaf, W., Friedrich, K., Mayr, G., and Schlaich, J., 1983, “Solar Chimneys, Part I: Principle and Construction of the Pilot Plant in Manzanares,” Sol. Energy, 2, pp. 3–20. [CrossRef]
Haaf, W., 1984, “Solar Tower, Part II: Preliminary Test Results From the Manzanares Pilot Plant,” Sol. Energy, 2, pp. 41–61. [CrossRef]
Launder, B., and Spalding, D., 1972, Lectures in Mathematical Models of Turbulence, Academic, London.
Fluent Inc., FLUENT User's Manual, 2006, Version 6.3, December, Ansys Inc., Canonsburg, PA.
Tritton, D., 1988, Convection, Physical Fluid Dynamics, Vol. 14, 2nd ed., Clarendon, Oxford, pp. 163–165.
Van, D. J., and Raithby, G., 1984, “Enhancement of the Simple Method for Predicting Incompressible Fluid Flow,” Numer. Heat Transfer, 7(2), pp. 147–163. [CrossRef]
Bouchair, A., 1994, “Solar Chimney for Promoting Cooling Ventilation in Southern Algeria,” Build. Services Eng. Res. Technol., 15(2), pp. 81–93. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Solar Chinmey prototype on 2010 Shanghai World Expo

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Configuration of the proposed solar chimney project

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Grids in the axisymmetric model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Physical configurations of the prototype

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Mass flow rate comparisons between simulation and measurement in the chimney prototype

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Inlet height impact to average temperature in SS scenarios

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Temperature contour ( °C) for the scenario of SS-2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Velocity contour (m/s) for the scenario of SS-2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Inlet height impact to average temperature in WS scenarios

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Temperature contour ( °C) for the case of WS-2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Velocity contour (m/s) for the case of WS-2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Average temperature results of the three series under SS-1 conditions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Average temperature results of the three series under WS-1 conditions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Heat transfer in the solar chimney

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Flowchart of soil temperature calculation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Hourly soil surface temperature results in the solar chimney

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Supplementary heat for 10  °C soil surface temperature requirement




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In