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Research Papers

Photothermal Energy Conversion Enhancement Studies Using Low Concentration Nanofluids

[+] Author and Article Information
P. Kalidoss

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Institute of Technology,
Tiruchirappalli 620015, Tamil Nadu, India
e-mail: kalidossmech1991@gmail.com

S. Venkatachalapathy

Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Institute of Technology,
Tiruchirappalli 620015, Tamil Nadu, India
e-mail: svc@nitt.edu

S. Suresh

Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Institute of Technology,
Tiruchirappalli 620015, Tamil Nadu, India
e-mail: ssuresh@nitt.edu

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 14, 2019; final manuscript received May 26, 2019; published online June 11, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Isaac Mahderekal.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(6), 061012 (Jun 11, 2019) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-19-1093; doi: 10.1115/1.4043864 History: Received March 14, 2019; Accepted May 27, 2019

The present study aims to develop a compact experimental facility to trap solar energy. Line focusing concentrators, i.e., Fresnel lens and secondary reflectors, are coupled to enhance the photothermal conversion efficiency. Two types of receiver tubes are used, a plain copper tube and an evacuated glass tube embedded with a copper tube. Surfactant-free multiwalled carbon nanotubes–Therminol55 nanofluid with concentrations of 25, 50, 75, and 100 ppm are used in this study. The characterization of the nanoparticles and nanofluids is presented. In the visible range, a maximum absorbance and extinction coefficient of 0.75 and 1.7 cm−1 are obtained for 100 ppm concentration. The thermal conductivity is also enhanced by 6.29% compared to base fluid. A maximum fluid temperature of 78.15 and 89.58 °C is observed for plain receiver tube and receiver tube in evacuated space, respectively, and the corresponding efficiencies are 12.65 and 17.36%

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

XRD spectrum of MWCNTs

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Fig. 2

UV-2600 Spectrophotometer

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Fig. 3

Cuvette used for optical characterization

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Fig. 4

Measured absorbance in the visible range

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Fig. 5

Scattering regime map [9]

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Fig. 6

Effect of wavelength and concentration on extinction coefficient

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Fig. 7

Thermal conductivity of Therminol and nanofluids of various concentrations

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Fig. 8

Specific heat of Therminol55 and 100 ppm nanofluid

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Fig. 9

Experimental procedure adopted in this study

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Fig. 10

(a) Design model of a secondary reflector, (b) side view of a secondary reflector with a focal length adjuster, (c) secondary reflector with Fresnel lens, (d) an evacuated absorber tube, and (e) a top view of the experimental setup

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Fig. 11

Schematic view of secondary reflector

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Fig. 12

Fresnel lens with a secondary reflector

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Fig. 13

Variation of solar insolation during first and second day

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Fig. 14

Fluid temperature variation with time for day 1

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Fig. 15

Fluid temperature variation with time for day 2

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Fig. 16

Variation of absorber tube efficiency and fluid temperature with time for case 1

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Fig. 17

Variation of absorber tube efficiency and fluid temperature with time for case 2

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Fig. 18

(a) Error chart for absorber tube efficiency for case 1 and (b) error chart for absorber tube efficiency for case 2

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