This paper deals with the analytical investigation of thermal and thermohydraulic performance of double flow solar air heaters with corrugated and flat plate absorber. A mathematical model of double flow solar air heater has been presented, and a computer program in C++ language is developed to estimate the outlet temperature of air for the evaluation of thermal and thermohydraulic efficiency by solving the governing equations numerically using relevant correlations for heat transfer coefficients. The results obtained from the mathematical model is compared with the available experimental results and it is found to be reasonably good. The results show that the double flow solar air heaters have higher efficiency than conventional solar air heater, although the double flow corrugated absorber is superior to that of flat plate double flow solar air heater. It is also observed that the thermal efficiency increases with increase in mass flow rate; however, thermohydraulic efficiency increases with increase in mass flow rate up to a certain limit, attains the maximum value, then thereafter decreases sharply.
Channel depth is an important design parameter to be fixed in designing a solar air heater. In this paper, a mathematical model has been developed to study the influence of channel duct on the thermal performance of solar air heaters. The channel depth has been varied from 1.5 cm to 3.5 cm for the mass flow range 0.01 to 0.11 kg/s. Based on first law of thermodynamics, the channel depth of 1.5 cm shows better thermal performance for all the mass flow range. Also, better thermohydraulic performance has been found up to 0.05 kg/s, and beyond this, thermohydraulic efficiency starts decreasing. It has been seen that, with the increase in the mass flow rate, the difference between thermal and thermohydraulic efficiency increases because of the increase in pressure drop. At lower mass flow rate, 0.01 kg/s, the thermal and thermohydraulic efficiencies for respective channel depth remain the same.
A theoretical investigation on the effect of collector aspect ratio on the thermal performance of wavy finned absorber solar air heaters has been performed. For the constant collector area, the various performance parameters have been calculated for plane and wavy finned solar air heaters. It has been found that the performance of wavy finned solar air heater improved with the increase in the collector aspect ratio. The performance of wavy finned solar air heater has been found 30 percent higher than those of plane solar air heater. The obtained results for wavy fin solar air heaters are compared with the available experimental data of most common type solar air heaters.
Solar energy is a good option among renewable energy resources due to its easy availability and abundance. The simplest and most efficient way to utilize solar energy is to convert it into thermal energy and this can be done with the help of solar collectors. The thermal performance of such collectors is poor due to less heat transfer from the collector surface to air. In this work, experimental investigations of single pass solar air heater having triangular duct and provided with roughness element on the underside of the absorber plate. V-shaped ribs are used for investigation having three different values of relative roughness pitch (p/e) ranges from 4- 16 for a fixed value of angle of attack (α), relative roughness height (e/Dh) and a relative gap distance (d/x) values are 60°, 0.044 and 0.60 respectively. Result shows that considerable augmentation in heat transfer has been obtained by providing roughness.
Solar air heater is a type of heat exchanger which transforms solar radiation into heat energy. The thermal performance of conventional solar air heater has been found to be poor because of the low convective heat transfer coefficient from the absorber plate to the air. It is attributed to the formation of a very thin boundary layer at the absorber plate surface commonly known as viscous sub-layer. Thermal efficiency of solar air heater can be improved by providing the artificial roughness on absorber plate is the most efficient technique. In this paper an attempt is made to provide artificial roughness by incorporating inclined multiple V-ribs in the underside of the absorber plate. 60˚V – ribs are arranged inclined to the direction of air flow. Performance of collector estimated theoretically and experimentally. Results of the investigation reveal that thermal efficiency of collector with multiple V-ribs increased by 14%.
The evaluation of the convective heat transfer of flow in passages with rectangular cross section is still of interest for the heat transfer investigators, as in the air heater solar collectors. The aim of this paper is to present investigation results on the natural convection heat transfer in a solar air heater. The effect of the channel length as heat transfer surface and the inclination of the passage were investigated. The results were obtained experimentally and theoretically. For that, an experimental test rig was fabricated with channel lengths of 1m, 1.5m, and 2m. For each length, the air outlet and inlet temperatures, absorber and cover temperatures, solar radiation intensity and air flow rate were measured at 10o, 30o, 50o, 70o, and 90o tilt angles. Measurements were recorded every 2 hours interval to investigate the transient behavior of the system. The experimental and theoretical results are presented in terms of Nu number versus Ra number and discussed. The percentages of differences between experimental and theoretical results are within the margin of 6% to 13%, effectively. It is recommended to extend the investigation to study the same configurations with different artificial surface roughing by ribs or pins.
A solar powered air heating system using one ended evacuated tubes is experimentally investigated. A solar air heater containing forty evacuated tubes is used for heating purpose. The collector surface area is about 4.44 m2. The length and outer diameters of the outer glass tube and absorber tube are 1500, 47 and 37 mm, respectively. In this experimental setup, we have a header (heat exchanger) of square shape (190 mm x 190 mm). The length of header is 1500 mm. The header consists of a hollow pipe in the center whose diameter is 60 mm through which the air is made to flow. The experimental setup contains approximately 108 liters of water. Water is working as heat collecting medium which collects the solar heat falling on the tubes. This heat is delivered to the air flowing through the header pipe. This heat flow is due to natural convection and conduction. The outlet air temperature depends upon several factors along with air flow rate and solar radiation intensity. The study has been done for both up-flow and down-flow of air in header in similar weather conditions, at different flow rates. In the present investigations the study has been made to find the effect of intensity of solar radiations and flow rate of air on the out let temperature of the air with time and which flow is more efficient. The obtained results show that the system is highly effective for the heating in this region. Moreover, it has been observed that system is highly efficient for the particular flow rate of air. It was also observed that downflow configuration is more effective than up-flow condition at all flow rates due to lesser losses in down-flow. The results show that temperature differences of upper head and lower head, both of water and surface of pipes on the respective ends is lower in down-flow.