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Research Papers

Experimental Studies on Energy and Exergy Analysis of a Single-Pass Parallel Flow Solar Air Heater

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Raam Dheep

Centre for Green Energy Technology,
Pondicherry University,
Puducherry 605014, India
e-mail: raamdheep@gmail.com

A. Sreekumar

Centre for Green Energy Technology,
Pondicherry University,
Puducherry 605014, India
e-mail: sreekmra@gmail.com

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 January 30, 2019; final manuscript received June 14, 2019; published online July 11, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Ting Ma.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 142(1), 011003 (Jul 11, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-19-1038; doi: 10.1115/1.4044127 History: Received January 30, 2019; Accepted June 19, 2019

Solar air heaters (SAHs) are the simplest form of nonconcentrating thermal collectors. SAHs utilize solar thermal energy to increase the temperature of air for thermal applications of less than 80 °C. The energy efficiency of SAHs is significantly low due to poor convective heat transfer between the absorber and the air medium. In this present study, it is aimed to increase the convective heat transfer by modifying the absorber and the type of air flow inside the duct. Experimental studies were performed to study about the energy and exergy efficiencies of SAH with the absorber of longitudinal circular fins. The thermal analysis of the SAH is evaluated for five mass flow rates of 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 kg/h m2 flowing inside the duct of thickness 100 mm. The impact of the flow rate on the absorber and air temperature, temperature difference (ΔT), energy and exergy efficiencies, irreversibility, improvement potential, sustainability, and CO2 reduction potential is studied. The experimental results show that the first and second laws of thermodynamic efficiency increase from 44.13% to 56.98% and from 24.98% to 36.62% by increasing the flow rate from 30 to 90 kg/h m2. The results conclude that the air flow duration inside the duct plays an important role in efficiency of the solar air heater. Therefore, lower flow rate is preferred to achieve maximum outlet air temperature and temperature difference.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Energy transfer in the solar air heater

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Fig. 2

Schematic representation of the solar air heater

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Fig. 3

Dimensions of the solar air heater

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Fig. 4

Cross-sectional dimensions of the solar air heater

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Fig. 5

Photograph of the solar air heater

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Fig. 6

Temperature profiles of the solar air heater at (a) 30 kg/h m2, (b) 45 kg/h m2, (c) 60 kg/h m2, (d) 75 kg/h m2, and (e) 90 kg/h m2

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Fig. 7

Solar radiation received on experimental days

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Fig. 8

Temperature difference for various mass flow rates

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Fig. 9

Absorber temperature profile at different locations of the solar air heater for (a) 30 kg/h m2, (b) 45 kg/h m2, (c) 60 kg/h m2, (d) 75 kg/h m2, and (e) 90 kg/h m2 flow rates

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Fig. 10

Outlet air temperature at different lengths of the air heater at (a) 30 kg/h m2, (b) 45 kg/h m2, (c) 60 kg/h m2, (d) 75 kg/h m2, and (e) 90 kg/h m2

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Fig. 11

Outlet temperature versus absorber temperature at (a) 30 kg/h m2, (b) 45 kg/h m2, (c) 60 kg/h m2, (d) 75 kg/h m2, and (e) 90 kg/h m2

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Fig. 12

Energy efficiency profile of the solar air heater for various flow rates

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Fig. 13

Exergy efficiency plot of the solar air heater for various flow rates

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Fig. 14

Thermal characteristics of the solar air heater for various flow rates

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Fig. 15

Sustainability index of the solar air heater for various dead state temperatures

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