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Research Papers

Experimental and Computational Fluid Dynamics Study on Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer in Triangular Passage Solar Air Heater of Different Configurations

[+] Author and Article Information
Rajneesh Kumar

Mechanical Engineering Department,
National Institute of Technology,
Hamirpur 177005, India
e-mail: rajneesh127.nith@gmail.com

Varun

Mem. ASME
Mechanical Engineering Department,
National Institute of Technology,
Hamirpur 177005, India
e-mail: varun7go@gmail.com

Anoop Kumar

Professor
Mechanical Engineering Department,
National Institute of Technology,
Hamirpur 177005, India
e-mail: anoop@nith.ac.in

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 January 9, 2017; final manuscript received April 28, 2017; published online June 8, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Werner J. Platzer.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(4), 041013 (Jun 08, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1014; doi: 10.1115/1.4036775 History: Received January 09, 2017; Revised April 28, 2017

The fluid flow characteristics and heat transfer in triangular duct solar air heater (SAH) have been studied experimentally and numerically for Reynolds number range from 4000 to 18,000. In the present paper, three different models of triangular duct solar air heater were considered, namely, model 1 with simple triangular duct, model 2 with rounded corner on one side of the triangle with fixed radius of curvature of 0.39 times the duct height as flow passage, and model 3 with rounded corner on one side of the triangular duct with roughness on the absorber plate of SAH. The absorber plate and apex angle values are assumed as constant in all the three models of SAH, i.e., 160 mm and 60 deg, respectively. The three-dimensional numerical simulations were performed by discretization of computational domain using finite volume method (FVM) and are analyzed with the help of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. Experiments were performed to validate numerical results by comparing absorber plate temperature along the length of the SAH. A detailed analysis of different models of solar air heater was carried out by solving flow governing equations numerically on ansys fluent 12.1. A close match has been observed between the simulated and experimental results of SAH with maximum percentage deviation of approximately ±5% in absorber plate temperature. The rounded apex improves velocity distribution near the corner region and helps in improving heat transfer. In the three studied models of solar air heater, the best performance is observed in the case of model 3.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic views of (a) model 1 SAH, (b) model 2 SAH, and (c) model 3 SAH

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Fig. 2

Pictorial view of fabricated experimental setup

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Fig. 3

Schematic presentation of SAH used for CFD simulation

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Fig. 4

Three-dimensional meshed model of circular rib roughened rounded corner triangular duct

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Fig. 5

Experimental and numerical variation of absorber plate temperature in the case of different models of SAH at Reynolds number value of 12,000

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Fig. 6

Distribution of velocity inside the duct at dimensionless length of z/ltest

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Fig. 7

Variation of average Nusselt number with Reynolds number for different models of SAH

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Fig. 8

Variation of average friction factor with Reynolds number for different models of SAH

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Fig. 9

Variation of average Nusselt number with Reynolds number for different relative roughness pitch values of SAH

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Fig. 10

(a) Flow reattachment due to roughness over the absorber plate in the case of P/e value of 4 at Reynolds number value of 12,000, (b) flow reattachment due to roughness over the absorber plate in the case of P/e value of 8 at Reynolds number value of 12,000, (c) flow reattachment due to roughness over the absorber plate in the case of P/e value of 12 at Reynolds number value of 12,000, and (d) flow reattachment due to roughness over the absorber plate in the case of P/e value of 16 at Reynolds number value of 12,000

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Fig. 11

Variation of average friction factor value with Reynolds number for different relative roughness pitch values of SAH

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