This study investigates experimentally and theoretically both the effects of operating and configuration parameters on convection heat transfer process and fluid flow characteristics for air flowing in transitional regime through parallel plate channel with offset plate segments heated by a radiation heat flux. This configuration is intended to be applied into air heater solar collectors and/or a combined photovoltaic and air heater solar collector system (PV/T). In the experimental measurements, the operating parameters tested were Re values ranging from 2580 to 4650 with combination of incident radiation heat flux (qinc) values of 400, 700, and 1000 W/m2, respectively. The experimental results show that the local Nusselt number (Nux) is not unique function in the axial distance. In addition, a linear relationship between Re and apparent friction factor is observed. Moreover, in case of Re = 2600, increasing the incident radiation flux values by 175% and 250% leads to an increase in Nux values by 20% and 35%, respectively. The theoretical results indicate that, combinations of Re values inside the channel falling within the laminar regime with selections of both the plate’s length and thickness can lead to the convection heat transfer enhancement with avoiding of additional pumping power penalty when the channel flow falls in transitional regime.

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