Research Papers

Determination of Parabolic Trough Solar Collector Efficiency Using Nanofluid: A Comprehensive Numerical Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Hamidreza Khakrah

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
Sharif University of Technology,
International Campus,
Kish Island 7941776655, Iran

Amir Shamloo

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Sharif University of Technology,
Azadi Avenue,
Tehran 1989956661, Iran
e-mail: shamloo@sharif.edu

Siamak Kazemzadeh Hannani

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Sharif University of Technology,
Tehran 1989956661, Iran

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 November 10, 2016; final manuscript received May 3, 2017; published online July 27, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Marc Röger.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(5), 051006 (Jul 27, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: SOL-16-1471; doi: 10.1115/1.4037092 History: Received November 10, 2016; Revised May 03, 2017

Due to significant reduction in fossil fuel sources, several researches have been conducted recently to explore modern sources of renewable energy. One of the major fields in the category of renewable energy harnessing devices is parabolic trough solar collector (PTC). Several parameters have effect on the overall efficiency of the PTCs. As the effect of these parameters is coupled to each other, a comprehensive investigation is necessary. In the present study, a numerical analysis is performed to examine the efficiency of PTCs via variation of several governing parameters (e.g., wind velocity magnitude, nanoparticles volume fraction, inlet temperature, and reflector's orientation). A detailed set of absorber, reflector, and protection glass in addition to the surrounding environment is modeled to capture sufficiently accurate data. The working fluid is assumed to be nanofluid to inspect the advantage of metallic nanoparticle addition to the base fluid. The Monte Carlo radiation tracing method is utilized to calculate the solar gain on the absorber tube. According to the obtained results, the efficiencies are reduced by 1–3% by rotating the reflector by 30 deg relative to wind direction. Moreover, 14.3% and 12.4% efficiency enhancement is obtained by addition of 5% volume fraction of Al2O3 to the base synthetic oil for horizontal and rotated reflectors, respectively.

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Fig. 1

(a) Computation domain and (b) reflector and receiver system components [9]

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Fig. 2

Solar influx distribution in the receiver circumferential direction: (a) horizontal reflector and (b) 30 deg rotated reflector

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Fig. 3

Validation of the current numerical data with experimental measurements of Esmaeilzadeh et al. [20]

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Fig. 4

Computational cells distribution pattern

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Fig. 5

Velocity contours and streamlines in midsection vertical plane for horizontal reflector's simulation (u = 5 m/s)

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Fig. 6

Velocity contours and streamlines in midsection vertical plane for tilted reflector's simulation (u = 5 m/s)

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Fig. 7

Variation of local Nu number for horizontal and tilted reflectors

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Fig. 8

Variation of PTC efficiency with horizontal reflector

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Fig. 9

Variation of PTC efficiency with rotated reflector

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Fig. 10

Variation of PTC efficiency for various wind speeds: (a) horizontal and (b) rotated reflector (φ = 0%)

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Fig. 11

Variation of PTC efficiency enhancement (horizontal reflector)

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Fig. 12

Variation of PTC efficiency enhancement (rotated reflector)




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