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Research Papers

Computational Simulation of the Thermal Performance of a Solar Air Heater Integrated With a Phase Change Material

[+] Author and Article Information
Valeri Bubnovich

Department of Chemical Engineering,
Universidad de Santiago de Chile,
PO Box 10233, Santiago 9160000, Chile
e-mail: valeri.bubnovich@usach.cl

Alejandro Reyes

Department of Chemical Engineering,
Universidad de Santiago de Chile,
PO Box 10233, Santiago 9160000, Chile
e-mail: alejandro.reyes@usach.cl

Macarena Díaz

Department of Chemical Engineering,
Universidad de Santiago de Chile,
PO Box 10233, Santiago 9160000, Chile
e-mail: macadiaz.es@usach.cl

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 April 4, 2018; final manuscript received April 16, 2019; published online May 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Jorge Gonzalez.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(5), 051011 (May 08, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1158; doi: 10.1115/1.4043549 History: Received April 04, 2018; Accepted April 17, 2019

The performance of a solar collector with wax as a phase change material (PCM) located in a set of staggered pipes configuration was simulated computationally in this work. For the solar radiation of Chile, the accumulation of heat in the PCM system and the heat release at different time intervals were analyzed during the process of energy capture in summer: (a) without wax and with airflow, (b) with wax and without airflow, and (c) with wax and with airflow. Furthermore, the effects of solar radiation (summer and winter) airflow in the collector were analyzed on the performance of the system. The simulation results show that the use of a PCM in a solar air heater allows to store greater amounts of energy and it helps to extend the period of time when the air coming out of the collector has an elevated temperature. By increasing the airflow rate, the efficiency of the system increases and also the energy released to the air to be absorbed.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Solar air heater configuration

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Fig. 4

Thermal energy balance

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Fig. 3

Intensity of solar radiation

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Fig. 2

Environment temperature

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Fig. 7

Air temperature at the outlet of absorber

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Fig. 8

Hourly variation of absorber, glass cover, and air outlet temperature (summer)

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Fig. 9

Hourly variation of absorber, glass cover, and air outlet temperature (winter)

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Fig. 10

Hourly variation of the effective heat rate

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Fig. 11

Hourly variation of the instantaneous efficiency

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Fig. 12

Hourly variation of absorber and glass temperatures

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Fig. 13

Hourly variation of the molten thickness

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Fig. 5

Computational calculation diagram

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Fig. 6

Hourly variation of the molten thickness: upward results of this investigation and down the results of Ref. [43]

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Fig. 17

Hourly variation of air outlet temperature

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Fig. 18

Hourly variation of the effective heat rate

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Fig. 19

Hourly variation of instantaneous average efficiency

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Fig. 14

Hourly variation of absorber temperature

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Fig. 15

Hourly variation of the molten thickness

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Fig. 16

Hourly variation of glass temperature

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Fig. 20

Heat loss at the bottom with and without PCM

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