This technical brief presents a study on the effectiveness of the bottom insulation of a salinity gradient solar pond (SGSP) in Melbourne, Australia. Insulation is applied at the bottom of a SGSP in order to minimize the heat loss from the SGSP to the ground underneath. But selection of optimum thickness of the insulation to extract the best thermal performance of an SGSP is a challenge as insulation involves significant investment. Hence, modeling heat loss from SGSP to the ground before and after applying the insulation is thus very essential. In this study, a layer of polystyrene is used as insulation at the bottom of SGSP. The temperature distribution in the SGSP and ground below it, the efficiency of the SGSP and the heat removal from SGSP are estimated for the SGSP without insulation and with insulation of different thicknesses. The results show that the insulation definitely reduces the heat loss from the SGSP to the ground, but to a certain extent. Insulation beyond a certain thickness is proved to be ineffective in increasing the efficiency or reducing the heat loss to ground and thus unable to enhance the thermal performance of the SGSP.

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