Technical Brief

Improving Heat Transfer in Hybrid Solar Systems Using Liquid Metal Alloys as a Coolant

[+] Author and Article Information
T. Prabu

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
PSG College of Technology,
Coimbatore 641004, India
e-mail: tpr@mec.psgtech.ac.in

C. Ajay Sekar

LuK India,
Hosur 635110, India
e-mail: Ajayc1160@gmail.com

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 August 9, 2017; final manuscript received August 16, 2017; published online September 28, 2017. Editor: Robert F. Boehm.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(6), 064501 (Sep 28, 2017) (4 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1331; doi: 10.1115/1.4037821 History: Received August 09, 2017; Revised August 16, 2017

An improvement in performance of hybrid solar system with use of liquid metal alloy GaInSn as a coolant has been demonstrated in this study. The performance of hybrid system using GaInSn, water, and air as coolants under different operating conditions such as ambient temperature, different inlet velocities of fluid, solar irradiations is analyzed using simulation software ANSYS and the results obtained are validated using experiments. The results obtained from simulations and experiments are used for determining important performance criteria such as electrical efficiency, thermal efficiency, and exergy efficiency. The exergy, thermal, and electrical efficiencies were found to be at least 11%, 12%, and 12% higher for hybrid system using GaInSn as a coolant when compared to hybrid systems using air and water as coolants, respectively.

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Fig. 1

Geometric model used in the study

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Fig. 2

Experimental setup schematic overview

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Fig. 3

Temperature versus inlet velocity characteristics

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Fig. 4

Electrical efficiency characteristics of hybrid solar system using liquid metal alloy, air, and water as coolants

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Fig. 5

Max cell temperature versus solar irradiation

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Fig. 6

Thermal characteristics of hybrid solar collector using air, water, and liquid metal alloy as coolants

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Fig. 7

Temperature contours using air as coolant at v = 2 m/s

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Fig. 8

Temperature contours using liquid metal as coolant at v = 1 m/s

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Fig. 9

Exergy efficiency characteristic curves



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