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Research Papers

Improvement in Solar Chimney Power Generation by Using a Diffuser Tower

[+] Author and Article Information
Shinsuke Okada

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Kyushu University,
744 Motooka,
Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
e-mail: shin_ok77@hotmail.com

Takanori Uchida

Associate Professor
Research Institute for Applied Mechanics,
Kyushu University,
6-1 Kasuga-Kouen,
Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan
e-mail: takanori@riam.kyushu-u.ac.jp

Takashi Karasudani

Associate Professor
Research Institute for Applied Mechanics,
Kyushu University,
6-1 Kasuga-Kouen,
Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan
e-mail: karasu@riam.kyushu-u.ac.jp

Yuji Ohya

Professor
Research Institute of Applied Mechanics,
Kyushu University,
6-1 Kasuga-Kouen,
Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan
e-mail: ohya@riam.kyushu-u.ac.jp

1Corresponding author.

2Present address: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Komaki, 485-8561.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received May 5, 2013; final manuscript received November 30, 2014; published online January 8, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Yves Gagnon.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(3), 031009 (Jun 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1131; doi: 10.1115/1.4029377 History: Received May 05, 2013; Revised November 30, 2014; Online January 08, 2015

The solar chimney prototype, operated in Spain from 1982 to 1989, verified the concept of the solar chimney. The power generation mechanism in this system is to turn the wind turbine placed inside a high rise cylindrical hollow tower by an induced thermal updraft. As long as the thermal updraft is induced inside the tower by the solar radiation, this system can produce electricity. The disadvantage of this system is the low power generation efficiency compared to other solar energy power generation systems. To overcome this disadvantage, we improved the mechanism in order to augment the velocity of the air which flows into the wind turbine. By applying a diffuser tower instead of a cylindrical one, the efficiency of the systems power generation is increased. The mechanism that we investigated was the effect of the diffuser on the solar chimney structure. The inner diameter of the tower expands as the height increases so that the static pressure recovery effect of the diffuser causes a low static pressure region to form at the bottom of the tower. This effect induces greater airflow within the tower. The laboratory experiment, as does the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of the laboratory sized model, shows that the proposed diffuser type tower induces a velocity approximately 1.38–1.44 times greater than the conventional cylindrical type. The wind power generation output is proportional to the cube of the incoming wind velocity into the wind turbine; therefore, approximately 2.6–3.0 times greater power output can be expected from using the diffuser type tower.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic concept of the solar chimney using the diffuser type tower

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Fig. 2

Dimensions of experimental model (rectangular tower, D = 60 mm)

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Fig. 3

The flow visualization using the fog generator. (a) Ground surface 29 °C, ambient air 29 °C (Ri = 0) and (b) Ground surface 60 °C, ambient air 29 °C (Ri = 2.5).

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Fig. 4

The updraft flow velocity comparison of I-type hot-wire anemometer and PIV

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Fig. 5

Dimensions of the experimental model (D = 60 mm). (a) Cylindrical type tower and (b) Diffuser type tower.

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Fig. 6

The model masked in the computational domain for the CFD analysis (D = 60 mm). (a) Cylindrical type tower and (b) Diffuser type tower.

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Fig. 7

Configuration of laboratory experiment

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Fig. 8

Updraft velocity measurement positions

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Fig. 9

Grid of the computational domain. The masked model is located above the temperature controlled surface. 6 m (100D) × 6 m (100D) × 4 m (66.6D), 131 × 131 × 101 grid points.

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Fig. 10

Temperature distributions of laboratory experiment and CFD analysis (Δθ = 30 °C). (a) cylindrical tower, (b) diffuser tower, and (c) augmentation ratio of the temperature (diffuser type model normalized by the cylinder type model). Solid line represents the least square estimate.

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Fig. 11

Temperature distributions of laboratory experiment and CFD analysis (Δθ = 40 °C). (a) Cylindrical tower, (b) Diffuser tower, and (c) Augmentation ratio of the temperature (diffuser type model normalized by the cylinder type model). Solid line represents the least square estimate.

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Fig. 12

Updraft velocity distributions of laboratory experiment and CFD analysis (Δθ = 30 °C). (a) Cylindrical tower, (b) Diffuser tower, and (c) Augmentation ratio of the updraft velocity (diffuser type model normalized by the cylinder type model). Solid line represents the least square estimate.

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Fig. 13

Updraft velocity distributions of laboratory experiment and CFD analysis (Δθ = 40 °C). (a) Cylinder tower,. (b) Diffuser tower, and (c) Augmentation ratio of the updraft velocity (diffuser type model normalized by the cylinder type model). Solid line represents the least square estimate.

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