The parabolic trough collector (PTC) is one of the most widely deployed concentrating solar power technology in the world. This study aims at improving the operational efficiency of the commercially available LS-2 solar collector by increasing the convective heat transfer coefficient inside the receiver tube. The two main factors affecting this parameter are the properties of the working fluid and the inner geometry of the receiver tube. An investigation was carried out on six different working fluids: pressurized water, supercritical CO2, Therminol VP-1, and the addition of CuO, Fe3O4, and Al2O3 nanoparticles to Therminol VP-1. Furthermore, the influence of a converging-diverging tube with sine geometry is investigated because this geometry increases the heat transfer surface and enhances turbulent flow within the receiver. The results showed that of all the fluids investigated, the Al2O3/Oil nanofluid provides the best improvement of 0.22% to thermal efficiency, while the modified geometry accounted for a 1.13% increase in efficiency. Other parameters investigated include the exergy efficiency, heat transfer coefficient, outlet temperatures, and pressure drop. The analysis and modeling of a parabolic trough receiver are implemented in engineering equation solver (EES).
Numerical Analysis of Heat Transfer Enhancement in a Parabolic Trough Collector Based on Geometry Modifications and Working Fluid Usage
Faculty of Engineering,
Cyprus International University,
North-Cyprus, via Mersin-10, Turkey
National University of Science and Technology,
Islamabad 75350, Pakistan
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received December 4, 2017; final manuscript received April 19, 2018; published online May 29, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Marc Röger.
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Okonkwo, E. C., Abid, M., and Ratlamwala, T. A. H. (May 29, 2018). "Numerical Analysis of Heat Transfer Enhancement in a Parabolic Trough Collector Based on Geometry Modifications and Working Fluid Usage." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. October 2018; 140(5): 051009. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4040076
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