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Research Papers

Investigation on the Optimum Volume-Filling Ratio of a Loop Thermosyphon Solar Water-Heating System

[+] Author and Article Information
Tao Zhang

College of Energy and Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai University of Electric Power,
#2103 Pingliang Road,
Shanghai 200090, China
e-mail: zhtyn86@163.com

Gang Pei

Department of Thermal Science
and Energy Engineering,
University of Science and Technology of China,
#96 Jinzhai Road,
Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
e-mail: peigang@ustc.edu.cn

Qunzhi Zhu

College of Energy and Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai University of Electric Power,
#2103 Pingliang Road,
Shanghai 200090, China
e-mail: zhuqzgt@163.com

Jie Ji

Department of Thermal Science and Energy
Engineering,
University of Science and Technology of China,
#96 Jinzhai Road,
Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
e-mail: jijie@ustc.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

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 June 30, 2015; final manuscript received April 7, 2016; published online May 5, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Werner Platzer.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 138(4), 041006 (May 05, 2016) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1204; doi: 10.1115/1.4033403 History: Received June 30, 2015; Revised April 07, 2016

Volume-filling ratio of the working fluid has a predominant effect on the system performance of a closed two-phase solar water-heating (SWH) system. To study this effect, a prototype of a loop thermosyphon SWH system, which uses remolded flat-plate solar collector as the evaporator and the coil pipe in the water tank as the condenser, was set up. A set of long-term outdoor experiments under 10%, 20%, 30%, 50%, and 70% volume-filling ratios were conducted in this paper. R600a was used as working fluid. Loop thermosyphon solar collector thermal performance and system thermal performance under different volume-filling ratios, including the temperature distribution of loop thermosyphon evaporator, were presented. It is shown that the loop thermosyphon solar collector and the system had a better thermal performance than the conventional ones under 30% and 50% volume-filling ratio, and the loop thermosyphon evaporator had an even temperature distribution when the volume-filling ratio was higher than 30%. The optimum volume filing ratio lies in between 30% and 50% of the whole system volume.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

Experimental setup and details of the thermocouples set up

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the closed-loop thermosyphon SWH system

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Fig. 3

Variation of temperature distribution of the loop thermosyphon evaporator section under 10% volume-filling ratio

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Fig. 4

Ambient details of the representative sample day under different volume-filling ratios

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Fig. 5

Variations in instantaneous photothermal conversion efficiency under different volume-filling ratios

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Fig. 6

(a) Variations in the bottom, middle, and top temperatures of the loop thermosyphon evaporator section, and temperature of middle of surface of absorber plate and ambient, (b) temperature difference between the top and the bottom of the loop thermosyphon evaporator section and temperature difference between the middle and the bottom of the loop thermosyphon evaporator section, and (c) variations in temperature difference between the absorber plate and the average temperature of the loop thermosyphon collector

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Fig. 7

Graphical plot of linear fitting of collector performance under different volume-filling ratios

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Fig. 8

Graphical plot of linear fitting of system performance under different volume-filling ratios

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