Modelling and Validation of Solar Flat Plate Water Heating System Subjected to Varying Absorber Geometries

Author(s): M Dinesh Babu, M Venkata Ramanan and A Ganapathi

Increasing the surface area will increase the heat transfer capability of the collector. So an attempt was made to investigate the effects on collector efficiency of a solar water heater with fins attached internally in the riser tube. Then analyzing the solar collector using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with and without internal fins so as to simulate the solar collector for better understanding of the heat transfer capabilities of the collector. The conjugate heat transfer phenomenon between collector and water is modelled using FLUENT CFD software. The solar radiation is considered as the heat flux while calculating boundary conditions for the collector area. The geometric model and fluid domain for CFD analysis is generated using ANSYS Design Modeller software, Grid generation is accomplished by ANSA meshing software. The results obtained from the CFD for tube with fin is validated with the CFD and experimental values for plain tube and found that there is an increase in temperature of about 3-4oC for finned tube. Based on this, fabrication is done and experimental analysis is carried out with new set of collectors. The results obtained from experimental analysis shows that there is an increase in efficiency of about 3-5 % when we go for finned tube rather than plain tube.

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