Technical Brief

Effectiveness of Bottom Insulation of a Salinity Gradient Solar Pond

[+] Author and Article Information
Sayantan Ganguly

Environmental Hydrogeology Group,
Department of Earth Sciences,
Utrecht University,
Princetonplein 9,
Utrecht 3584CC, The Netherlands
e-mail: s.ganguly@uu.nl

Abhijit Date

Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Group,
School of Engineering,
RMIT University,
P.O. Box 71,
Bundoora 3083, Victoria, Australia
e-mail: abhijit.date@rmit.edu.au

Aliakbar Akbarzadeh

Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Group,
School of Engineering,
RMIT University,
P.O. Box 71,
Bundoora 3083, Victoria, Australia
e-mail: akbar@rmit.edu.au

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 December 21, 2017; final manuscript received February 8, 2018; published online March 13, 2018. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(4), 044502 (Mar 13, 2018) (5 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1500; doi: 10.1115/1.4039416 History: Received December 21, 2017; Revised February 08, 2018

This technical brief presents a study on the effectiveness of the bottom insulation of a salinity gradient solar pond (SGSP) in Melbourne, Australia. Insulation is applied at the bottom of a SGSP in order to minimize the heat loss from the SGSP to the ground underneath. But selection of optimum thickness of the insulation to extract the best thermal performance of an SGSP is a challenge as insulation involves significant investment. Hence, modeling heat loss from SGSP to the ground before and after applying the insulation is thus very essential. In this study, a layer of polystyrene is used as insulation at the bottom of SGSP. The temperature distribution in the SGSP and ground below it, the efficiency of the SGSP and the heat removal from SGSP are estimated for the SGSP without insulation and with insulation of different thicknesses. The results show that the insulation definitely reduces the heat loss from the SGSP to the ground, but to a certain extent. Insulation beyond a certain thickness is proved to be ineffective in increasing the efficiency or reducing the heat loss to ground and thus unable to enhance the thermal performance of the SGSP.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of SGSP with insulation at bottom

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Schematic diagram of the SGSP showing the different zones and boundaries with the numerical grid

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Monthly average of daily solar radiation on a horizontal surface in Melbourne and monthly average temperature in Melbourne

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Temperature development in the LCZ of solar pond and ground for (a) no insulation, (b) insulation of 5 cm at bottom, (c) insulation of 10 cm at bottom, (d) insulations of 20 cm at bottom, and (e) insulation of 25 cm at bottom

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Instantaneous efficiency of the Melbourne SGSP without insulation and with insulation of different thicknesses

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Heat removed from the Melbourne SGSP without insulation and with insulation of different thicknesses



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