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Research Papers

Parabolic Trough Solar Collector for Medium Temperature Applications: An Experimental Analysis of the Efficiency and Length Optimization by Using Inserts

[+] Author and Article Information
D. N. Elton

Department of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
Renewable Energy Center,
Manipal Institute of Technology,
Manipal Academy of Higher Education,
Manipal 576104, Karnataka, India

U. C. Arunachala

Department of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
Renewable Energy Center,
Manipal Institute of Technology,
Manipal Academy of Higher Education,
Manipal 576104, Karnataka, India
e-mail: arun.chandavar@manipal.edu

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 March 25, 2018; final manuscript received June 13, 2018; published online July 9, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Marc Röger.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(6), 061012 (Jul 09, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1138; doi: 10.1115/1.4040583 History: Received March 25, 2018; Revised June 13, 2018

The present indoor experimental study is focused on performance enhancement of a parabolic trough collector (PTC) with twisted tape insert by incorporating an innovative Soltrace®—mathematical model—differential heating combination. This simulation-based methodology is very useful in analyzing the system behavior under defined environmental conditions. By the use of insert, the circumferential temperature difference has been dropped considerably in all cases compared to plain receiver. Hence, this gain is reflected in both instantaneous and thermo-hydraulic efficiency. As the role of inserts is justified in different thermal parameters, the system evaluation factors have been defined as H-W-B constants. Further, to take into account the influence of enhanced heat transfer on geometry, receiver length optimization has been performed which gave a maximum of 26% short in length of the receiver with best twist ratio under the transition flow regime. Hence, for moderate flow and medium temperature applications, inserts are useful. The range of Reynolds number considered in the experimental study is 2600–24,000 to analyze the flow regime based effect.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Thermal resistance network

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Fig. 4

Flowchart for the evaluation of PTC energy parameters

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Fig. 7

Solar heat flux circumferential distribution

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Fig. 8

Segments for nonuniform heating of receiver

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Fig. 9

Variation of beam radiation with time

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Fig. 3

Schematic of twisted tape insert

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Fig. 10

Variation of wind velocity and ambient temperature with time

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Fig. 5

Log mean temperature difference profile

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Fig. 6

H-W-B constants for PTC

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Fig. 11

Insulated test section with thermocouples

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Fig. 12

(a) Experimental setup and (b) schematic diagram

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Fig. 13

Surface temperature around the receiver

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Fig. 14

Fluid friction as a result of Reynold number

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Fig. 15

Variation of Nu with Re for different twist ratios

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Fig. 16

Variation of instantaneous efficiency versus DNI with varying input conditions

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Fig. 17

Thermo-hydraulic efficiency versus DNI

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Fig. 20

Variation of H-W-B constants with twist ratio

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Fig. 18

Twisted tape insert based PEC

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Fig. 19

Length optimization based on Re

Tables

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