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Research Papers

Experimental Investigation of Using a Novel Insulation Material on the Functioning of a Solar Thermal Collector

[+] Author and Article Information
Nabila Ihaddadene

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
M'Sila University,
B.P 166 Ichbelia,
M'Sila 28000, Algeria
e-mail: MAZ1dz@gmail.com

Razika Ihaddadene

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
M'Sila University,
B.P 166 Ichbelia,
M'Sila 28000, Algeria
e-mail: tassekurt1@gmail.com

Abdelwahaab Betka

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
M'Sila University,
B.P 166 Ichbelia,
M'Sila 28000, Algeria
e-mail: wahaabde@yahoo.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 July 1, 2017; final manuscript received February 21, 2018; published online April 16, 2018. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(6), 061001 (Apr 16, 2018) (5 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1258; doi: 10.1115/1.4039747 History: Received July 01, 2017; Revised February 21, 2018

This research document presents a new insulation material for solar thermal collectors. Tests were carried out in the laboratory, on an active solar energy demonstration system (ET 200), illuminated with a halogen lamp instead of sun. In this paper, the polystyrene used as insulation in the ET 200 flat plate solar collector was replaced by the cheaper natural material based on clay and straw. The polystyrene in the experimental device is placed under the absorber plate and along the edges of the casing containing the components of the solar collector. In this work, only the polystyrene of the four similar edges was replaced by the composite material. The use of the clay and straw as insulation material instead of polystyrene increased temperature difference (T2 − T1) between the inlet and the outlet of the absorber by 0.9±0.14 °C (p < 0.05); thus, increasing the useful power transmitted to water in the solar collector. Compared to polystyrene, tank water was well heated using the proposed material (p < 0.05). This latter also improved the performance of the solar collector by 5.77%. So, it is recommended to use the cheapest nonpolluting material based on clay and straw instead of synthetic insulation to improve the performance of the solar collector.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental device

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Fig. 2

Location of thermal sensors in the experimental device

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Fig. 4

Polystyrene thermal insulation material placed in the collector box edges

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Fig. 5

New thermal insulation material (left figure) placed along the edges of the collector box instead of polystyrene (right figure)

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Fig. 6

Temperatures T1, T2, and T3 evolution over time for the mixture of the clay and straw

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Fig. 7

Temperature difference (T2 − T1) evolution over time for both insulators (synthetic and natural) tested

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Fig. 8

Thermal losses evolution over time for both insulation materials (synthetic and natural) tested (error bars represent ±16.32% × point value)

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Fig. 9

Evolution of water tank temperature T3 over time for both insulators tested

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Fig. 10

Evolution of the efficiency of the thermal solar collector for both insulators (synthetic and natural) tested

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