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Research Papers

Concept of Triple Heat Exchanger-Assisted Solar Pond Through an Improved Analytical Model

[+] Author and Article Information
Sunirmit Verma

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Ropar,
Rupnagar, Punjab 140001, India
e-mail: sunirmit.verma@iitrpr.ac.in

Ranjan Das

Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Ropar,
Rupnagar, Punjab 140001, India
e-mail: ranjandas@iitrpr.ac.in

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received September 26, 2018; final manuscript received February 23, 2019; published online March 27, 2019. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(5), 051003 (Mar 27, 2019) (12 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1449; doi: 10.1115/1.4043127 History: Received September 26, 2018; Accepted February 25, 2019

A new three-zone heat extraction system and its analytical model for maximizing the thermal power output of salt gradient solar ponds against a given volume is proposed. The present study considers internal heat exchangers installed within the non-convective zone (NCZ), lower-convective zone (LCZ), and the ground below the pond. The work is validated against a simplified version of the model (eliminating ground and bottom-zone heat extractions) available in the existing literature. Contrary to the conventional practice of optimizing only the middle-zone pond thickness, here, the newly proposed expression is used to find ideal values of both the middle- and bottom-zone thicknesses of the pond along with its cross-sectional area. The present work acknowledges that although the three-zone heat extraction system is the best, yet if a choice for two-zone heat extraction is to be made between the NCZ–LCZ and ground–LCZ, then the former is a better alternative. The power output is observed to increase asymptotically with mass flow rates of the three heat exchangers. However, their values must lie much below their theoretical asymptotic limits and their selection is regulated by constructional and operational constraints. These involve a minimum pond depth to offset surface evaporation, ground seepage water loss, and constraints preventing turbulent flow in heat exchangers to reduce friction loss and pumping power. This work recommends using three heat exchangers instead of either one or two and provides cardinal guidelines to extract heat in an ideal manner for a fixed solar pond volume.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the solar pond

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Fig. 2

(a) Energy balance diagram of a differential element in NCZ, (b) energy balance diagram of the LCZ, (c) energy balance diagram of a differential element of the LCZ exchanger stream, and (d) energy balance diagram of a differential element in ground

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Fig. 3

Comparison of the intensity decay functions used in the references

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Fig. 4

NCZ temperature profile for the reference model and the present model reduced to the reference model

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Fig. 5

Variation of net power output net, V with NCZ thickness h and LCZ thickness d for different mass flow rates in the NCZ exchanger: LCZ = 0.05 kg/s, g = 0.005 kg/s, δ = 0.2 m

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Fig. 6

Variation of net power output net, V with NCZ thickness h and LCZ thickness d for different mass flow rates in the LCZ exchanger: NCZ = 0.005 kg/s, g = 0.005 kg/s, δ = 0.2 m

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Fig. 7

Variation of net power output net, V with NCZ thickness h and LCZ thickness d for different mass flow rates in the ground exchanger: NCZ = 0.005 kg/s, m ˙LCZ = 0.05 kg/s, δ = 0.2 m

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Fig. 8

Variation of net power output net, V with NCZ thickness h and LCZ thickness d for different UCZ thicknesses δ: NCZ = 0.005 kg/s, g = 0.05 kg/s

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Fig. 9

Variation of net power output net, V with area A: NCZ = 0.005 kg/s, g = 0.05 kg/s, δ = 0.2 m

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Fig. 10

Variation of net power output net, V with mass flow rate in the NCZ exchanger NCZ: LCZ = 0.05 kg/s, g = 0.005 kg/s, h = 0.6 m, d = 0.3 m, δ = 0.2 m

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Fig. 11

Variation of net power output net, V with mass flow rate in the LCZ exchanger m˙LCZ: LCZ = 0.005 kg/s, g = 0.005 kg/s, h = 0.6 m, d = 0.3 m, δ = 0.2 m

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Fig. 12

Variation of net power output net, V with mass flow rate in the ground exchanger m˙g: NCZ = 0.005 kg/s, LCZ = 0.005 kg/s, h = 0.6 m, d = 0.3 m, δ = 0.2 m

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Fig. 13

Variation of net power output net, V with UCZ thickness δ: NCZ = 0.005 kg/s, LCZ = 0.005 kg/s, g = 0.005 kg/s, h = 0.6 m, d = 0.3 m

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Fig. 14

Comparative assessment of the extraction modes with respect to temperature profiles in the NCZ and ground under the ideal condition: NCZ = g = 0.005 kg/s, LCZ = 0.005 kg/s, LCZ = 0.005 kg/s, δ = 0.2 m

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Fig. 15

Comparative assessment of the extraction modes with respect to net power output net, V under the ideal condition: NCZ = g = 0.005 kg/s, LCZ = 0.05 kg/s, LCZ = 0.005 kg/s, δ = 0.2 m

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