The heat transfer response to framing the thermally active cover surface of a flat plate solar collector with adiabatic co-planar extension surfaces has been investigated by wind tunnel experiments. Various framing patterns were employed (leading edge and/or trailing edge and/or side edge framing), along with frames of different width. The experiments were performed for various angles of inclination of the plate surface relative to the oncoming airstream and for a range of Reynolds numbers. It was found that the wind-related heat transfer coefficients can be substantially lower when the collector is framed than when it is unframed. An estimate of the possible reduction of the average heat transfer coefficient can be obtained from the equation h/h* = (Lc/Lf)1/2, where h and h* respectively denote the coefficients in the presence and in the absence of the frame. The quantity Lc is a dimension that is characteristic of the thermally active area of the cover surface, while Lf is a characteristic dimension of the outer edges of the frame. With respect to the reduction of the heat transfer coefficient, framing along the side edges appears to be more beneficial than framing along the leading and trailing edges, as is framing along the trailing edge compared with framing along the leading edge.

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