Polymer films possess excellent optical properties, such as high transparency, and thermal characteristics, like low heat conductivity, as well as further polymer specific advantages. Consequently, polymer films have an outstanding potential for many solar applications. They are already used for encapsulation of photovoltaic (PV) cells, as convection barrier in solar collectors and as substrate or adhesive layers for glazing. In translucent polymers, energy can be transferred internally by radiation in addition to conduction. Since radiant propagation is very rapid, it can provide energy within the layer more quickly than diffusion by heat conduction. Thus, the transient thermal response of a layer for combined radiative and conduction may be extremely different from that of conduction alone. In this paper, the behavior of a heat conducting, absorbing, and emitting layer of Polypropylene is investigated during the transient interval when both conductive and radiative heat transfer are considered. The governing differential equations include the equation of radiative heat transfer within the material coupled to the transient energy equation, which contains both radiative and conductive terms. The solution procedure is based on nodal analysis and Hottel’s zonal method extended by the ray tracing method. The transient energy equation including the radiative internal energy source is solved using a time marching finite difference procedure with variable space and time increments. In addition, effects of variable parameters including optical thickness and thermal conductivity of the layer are investigated carefully.

You do not currently have access to this content.