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COMPARATIVE PERFORMANCE OF A NATURAL CONVECTION SOLAR AIR HEATER - THEORETICAL INVESTIGATION SHAHIZUL RIDZWAN BIN OTHMAN

Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ong Kok Seng

A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree in Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) Faculty of Engineering Monash University
July 2012

ABSTRACT

Performance of a natural convection solar air heater has been studied theoretically and experimentally. Theoretical predictions of mean temperatures for glass surface, air flow, absorber plate as well as induced air flow velocity, temperature rise and instantaneous efficiency have been simulated. Experimental methodology includes the study of inclination angle effect (30, 45 and 60) towards its thermal performance. Comparison of theoretical predictions and experimental finding showed the discrepancies found in the results. Further experimental work should be done to improve the discrepancies and obtain more reliable results comparatively.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 ............................................................................................................................. 1 1.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 1 1.2 Literature Review ............................................................................................................... 3 1.3 Objectives ......................................................................................................................... 12 1.4 Thesis Outline ................................................................................................................... 12 CHAPTER 2 ........................................................................................................................... 13 2.1 Thermal network ............................................................................................................... 13 2.2 Temperature matrix........................................................................................................... 14 2.3 Air mass flow rate ............................................................................................................. 16 2.4 Physical properties of air .................................................................................................. 17 2.5 Solar radiation ................................................................................................................... 18 2.6 Radiation heat transfer coefficient from glass cover to sky .............................................. 18 2.7 Convection wind loss heat transfer from glass cover ....................................................... 19 2.8 Radiation heat transfer coefficient between glass cover and absorber plate ..................... 19 2.9 Natural convection heat transfer coefficient between glass and absorber plate ................ 19 2.10 Combination of heat loss from the rear side of air heater ............................................... 20 2.11 Instantaneous efficiency ................................................................................................. 20 CHAPTER 3 ........................................................................................................................... 21 3.1 Effect of solar radiation .................................................................................................... 21 3.3 Effect of heater length....................................................................................................... 22 3.4 Effect of air gap distance .................................................................................................. 23 3.5 Effect of inlet and outlet loss coefficients......................................................................... 23 CHAPTER 4 ........................................................................................................................... 24 4.1 Experimental apparatus and setup .................................................................................... 24 4.2 Comparison of results for run 1 ........................................................................................ 25 4.3 Comparison of results for run 2 ........................................................................................ 28 CHAPTER 5 ........................................................................................................................... 30 CHAPTER 6 ........................................................................................................................... 31 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................... 32 NOMENCLATURE ............................................................................................................... 33 REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................... 36 FIGURES ................................................................................................................................ 38 0

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

Solar energy applications can be categorized into passive or active depending on how the applications capture and converting the solar radiation into useful energy. Passive solar applications are usually seen in building design. Windows and walls of the building receive solar radiation from the heating of heat absorbing material thus providing natural ventilation inside the building. Meanwhile, active solar applications use mechanical or electrical devices to receive and converting solar radiation transmitted in the form of heat or electrical energy.

This research focuses on solar air heater that applies the concept of passive solar heating. Solar radiation from the sun transmitted to the glazing cover of the heater and the heat absorbed by the heat absorber plate. Then, the air flow inside the heater is heated generating an induced air flow velocity by the density difference. Flat plate solar air heater can be classified into type I, II and III. This research is focusing on type I solar air heater where the air is flowing through the gap between absorber plate and the cover glazing. The advantages of flat plate solar air heater are low cost, simple geometry, low pressure losses and ease of operation.

Solar energy is being utilized nowadays as one of the renewable energy sources especially in countries which its climate enables receiving high intensity solar radiation from the sun. Solar air heaters can be used for natural drying process of agriculture products such as vegetables and fruits. Few models were developed for crop drying under forced circulation of heated air flows on solar air heaters. Solar chimney in buildings is another application that utilizes passive solar energy. The air inside the
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chimney is heated by solar radiation. Natural convection air flow then is thermally induced by the air density difference between inlet and outlet of the chimney.

For natural convection solar air heater, there were various experiments have been done which includes the theoretical models being developed. This type of solar air heater uses natural convection as its heat transfer mode. Natural convection is described as heat transfer induced by the fluid motion due to changes in its density. In the experimental model of solar air heater, the sun radiation transmitted through the glazing glass cover on top of the heater and heated the black painted aluminium absorber plate. Air flows through the gap between glass cover and absorber plate. The air flow in the gap is heated and forming hot air which its density has been reduced slightly lower. Hot air rises up to the heater outlet and fresh air continues entering the heater inlet and this induced the natural convection current.

1.2 Literature Review

The performance of natural convection solar air heater is to be studied in this research in terms of effect of angle of inclination. Previous study by Ong and Than [1], showed that inclination of the heater did not have much effects on the performance of the heater. Small differences in temperatures were obtained. The reason could be the fluctuating nature of the flow influenced by solar intensity and wind conditions. Larger tilt angles were expected to result in higher velocity because larger vertical distance between inlet and outlet of the heater giving rise to higher driving buoyancy force.

Ong and Chow [2] studied about performance of solar chimney. Solar chimney provides solar-induced air ventilation in buildings during the day. The experimental solar chimney was built as a rectangular box with 2m high, 0.48m for width and 1.02m deep. Thick glass cover was at the front with pre-laminated polyurethane sheet as the heat absorbing wall located behind it by a gap. Preliminary investigations were conducted to study air temperature distribution across the air gap depth between glass and heat absorber. The temperature of heat absorber wall was the highest and displayed great influence for the air temperature distribution across the chimney width. The distribution of air temperature across the chimney width was found relatively flat in the central region. However, comparison between air temperature profiles with the same radiation level was not possible due to measurements were taken at different times.

As different tilt angles influenced the thermal performance of solar air heater, Sakonidou et al. [3] studied about the influence of tilt angles to thermal performance and air flow in solar chimney. Higher air velocity was found as the inclination angle increases while the average temperatures of air, glazing cover and heat absorber was found decreasing. According to Chang [4], the solar radiation gained by collector is affected by installation azimuth and tilt angles. These angles influenced the angle of incident of solar radiation on the collector panel. The sun apparent position for every month also affects solar radiation collected. For northern hemisphere, most of the sun locus located at southern sky except from April to September. It is stated that climate condition, latitude and collector location are varying with the tilt angle.
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The effect of inclination on performance of natural convection solar air heater has been studied by Tan [5]. The heater model has a dimension of 2.05 m long X 0.5 m width X 0.16 m depth and was the experiments were conducted for collector inclination angles of 20, 40, 60, 75 and 90. With radiation levels ranging from 200 and 800 W/m, the results showed that temperatures of glass surface, wall and air flow increased with inclination angle. The temperature distributions across glass surface, wall and air flow were found uniform within 1C and 2C. It was also found that the heater instantaneous efficiency was decreasing for inclination angles below 75.

A study was done by Chandok, S. [6] regarding thermal performance of theoretical model for natural convection solar air heater. The study was done for tilt angles of 15, 30, 45 and 60. The temperature rise along the heater was decreased with the increase in tilt angle. On the other hand, induced air velocity and instantaneous efficiency were increased with the increase in angle of inclination. It was suggested that the best way to study the comparison of inclination effect is to conduct experiment for same identical size of heater models with different inclination angles at the same time.

Khedari et al. [7] has conducted experiments to investigate free convection in roof solar collector. The test objective was to determine the internal convective heat transfer coefficient and induced air flow rate. The open-ended inclined rectangular channel length and width were 1360 mm and 680 mm respectively. With both ends opened to ambient, the inclination angle and gap width were fixed at 30 and 140 mm. The top plate made by alloy plate heater was heated and the temperature was maintained at uniform temperature using proportional plus integral control action. Top and bottom plate were insulated with three layers made of asbestos, ceramic fibrous and wool. Air and both plate temperatures were measured using type T copper-constantan thermocouples. Experimental results found that with the range of 40C to 75C for top plate temperature, mean convection heat transfer coefficient varies increasingly between 6.76 W/m K and 10.26 W/m K. Induced air flow rates were also increasing between 180 m/h and 320 m/h. Based on the experimental result, higher mean convection heat

transfer coefficient and induced air flow rate are possible to achieve by setting fixed parameters such as air gap width and uniform top plate temperature.

Khedari et al. [8] has discussed about roof solar collector design to provide natural ventilation for newly built houses. Roof solar collector has the possibility to improve thermal comfort in houses by inducing natural ventilation. Experimental study was done to study the effect of roof solar collector length, tilt angle and constructing materials towards its thermal performance. Common problem in modern houses at hot and humid climate is the accumulation of heat below the roof in the afternoon where solar radiation heats up the air within closed enclosure of the roof. The heat then transmitted to the interior that caused thermal discomfort towards its residents. For human, convection is one of the heat transfer mode induced by air flow across the skin. This generates the idea for passive cooling of houses without using any mechanical power. The experimental setup used CPAC Monier concrete tiles for top plate, plywood lining with aluminium foil and gypsum board lining with aluminium foil for different bottom plate. The roof solar collector was placed facing south to prevent shadow from shielding the collector surface area. By increasing the roof solar collector tilt angle, the induced air flow rate increased with uniform solar radiation reaching the collector surface area. However, the radiation energy absorbed was decreased with increasing tilt angles. From the results, induced air flow velocity increased with vertical distance and temperature difference between collector inlet and outlet. The advantages of roof solar collector system are the ability of self balance during hot weather and economical because of the materials already used in the house construction mainly in Thailand.

Burek and Habeb [9] studied about air flow rate and thermal efficiency characteristics in solar chimney and Trombe walls. The test rig consisted of a vertical open-ended channel with closed sides. The channel has a height of 102.5 cm and 92.5 cm width. The channel depth was varied between 20 to 110 mm. The rig has a transparent perspex-polymethyl methacrylate cover and matt black aluminium absorber plate with an electrical heating mat behind it that supplied controllable heat input. Insulation layer of 100 mm was positioned behind the heating mat to minimize heat loss
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through the heating mat. They stated that natural convection (buoyancy driven) were difficult to analyze its performance compared with forced convection due to the air mass flow rate depends on the heat input and the system geometry. Air temperature profiles across the channel were found fairly flat. Transparent cover temperature was higher than air flow temperature but absorber plate temperature remained the highest. Velocity profiles across the channel bottom were found flat across the channel width. Undeveloped velocity profiles were generated with thin boundary layers. In the test, air inlet temperature was taken as ambient temperature. The tests done used uniform heat flux (UHF) and it was different from analysis for natural convection air flow through asymmetrically heated channel. It was found that air mass flow rate was increased with heat input and channel depth. Thermal efficiency was dependent on the heat input and varies with the solar heat variations. Thermal efficiency was not dependent on the channel depth but depends on the heat loss through the transparent cover.

Harris and Helwig [10] discussed about the topic of solar chimney and building ventilation. The objective of their research was to design of a solar chimney for building ventilation purpose. Solar chimney is described as solar energy absorber with openended channel that induces natural convection air flow in buildings. Factors that influenced the solar chimney design are location, climate, building orientation, and building size. Inclination angle is important as higher inclination angle of solar chimney have larger convective heat transfer for the air flow. However, amount of solar radiation absorbed is dependent of inclination angle. CFD technique was used in this research to study the effect of inclination angle on the induced air flow rate of a solar chimney. The climate condition of Edinburgh, Scotland at latitude 52 was used. Due to changes in the sun position, various solar chimney performances were found throughout the day for different inclination angles. Induced air flow rate was increased with the increasing inclination angle. However, the flow rate was found decreasing starting from inclination angle of 70 to 90. The optimum angle that induced maximum air flow for that particular time and location was found at 67.5. Additionally, the used of low-emissivity wall and double glazing in the simulations have slight improvement to the induced air flow rate.

Mathur et al. [11] have researched about performance of an inclined solar chimney for natural ventilation during summer season at Jaipur, India. During summer months, the air ventilation rate is reduced due to higher altitude of the sun. Higher altitude of the sun has reduced the amount of normal incident solar radiation absorbed. Building ventilation is really important during summer months to reduce the effect of overheating in buildings. When the absorber was inclined at 45, solar radiation collected and stack height were balanced. Higher inclination angle of absorber was required at higher latitude to collect more radiation. At tropical region, the optimum inclination angle to obtain maximum flow could be at 45 as the incidence angle and stack height was balanced. It was found that at 45 inclination, higher induced air flow rate was obtain when compared with induced air flow for 30 and 60 inclination angles. Increase in inclination angle affects the intensity of solar radiation where inclined absorber collects less solar radiation. But at 30 inclined absorber, lower air flow rate was found due to reduction in stack height eventhough more solar radiation were captured.

Mathur et al. [12] have conducted experimental investigations on solar chimney for room ventilation. Various theoretical and experimental investigations have been done to study the optimum size of solar chimney. It was found that induced air flow velocity and mean temperatures were the functions of the gap between glazed wall and absorber plate, ambient temperature and elevation of air outlet above the inlet. The experimental setup was made of cubical wooden chamber with length of 1 m, width of 1 m and height of 1 m. A black painted aluminium sheet was attached to the chamber for absorbing the solar radiation purpose. Thermocol (EPS) sheet was used as insulation at all exposed sides of the chamber. Effect of nine different combinations of absorber height and air gap on the ventilation was studied. The air change rate was found varied by less than 10% for the variation range of ambient temperature. Discrepancy between experimental and theoretical results was found ranging from 0.052 to 0.99. The discrepancy probably occurred due to wind flow that affects the solar chimney thermal balance. Maximum ventilation rate was found at 5.6 air changes per hour for 0.3 m air gap and 0.85 m stack height with solar radiation of 700 W/m2. It is suggested that

increase in air gap between glazing cover and absorber plate increases the air flow rate due to less air flow being restricted by the boundary layer.

Chantawong et al. [13] have investigated thermal performance of the glazed solar chimney walls. Thermal performance of the glazed solar chimney walls was investigated under the tropical climate in Thailand. Glazed solar chimney wall was built using double glass panes with spacing of 0.1 m and has small openings of 0.05 m x 0.05 m at the top of outer glass and bottom of the inner glass with aluminium dampers. Glazed solar chimney walls could reduce the heat flowed into the house by improving the air circulation. Induced air flow rate found from the tests was in the range of 0.13 and 0.28 m3/s. For air temperature difference between room and surroundings, it was less than compared to solar chimney that used a single layer glass window. For indoor spaces, the air motion of natural ventilation depends on the wind velocity and its direction. It was found that glazed solar chimney wall induced the indoor air flow velocity of 0.07 to 0.14 m/s.

Bassiouny and Koura [14] have analyzed a numerical study of solar chimney used in room natural ventilation. Numerical analysis was done to predict the flow pattern in the room and also in the chimney. Geometrical parameters which are chimney inlet size and width have significant impact on the room ventilation. Physical domain configuration was used with the height of 1 m, 1 m of width and 1 m of depth. Overall energy balance for glass cover, black absorber wall and the air flow between the walls were done to develop the mathematical model. Few assumptions were made. Flow through chimney was assumed as laminar and in steady-state conditions. The heat transferred through glass, absorber wall and air flow was considered as onedimensional. While chimney air inlet temperature was assumed to be the same with room air average temperature. FORTRAN program was used to solve for mean wall, glass and air flow temperatures using iterative method. The mean temperatures were linearly increased when solar intensity increases. Absorber wall mean temperature was found maximum and mean glass temperature was lower and closed to the air temperature due to low absorptivity and exposure of convection from absorber wall and
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ambient. Chimney width has a significant effect for the ventilation flow rate. Air changes per hour can be improved by 11% with three times increase of the inlet size while increasing the chimney width by three times with a fixed inlet size improved the ventilation rate to about 25%.

Chen et al. [15] have done the experimental investigations of solar chimney with uniform wall heat flux. The experimental solar chimney model used a uniform heat flux wall with different chimney gap to height ratio from 1:15 to 2:5. Temperature distributions across the chimney gap were found to be non uniform with highest air temperature was found located at the heated shim surface. It was found that air temperatures inside the chimney and on the front wall were uniform across the chimney width. Air temperatures across the chimney height were increasing but air temperatures at the heated wall and unheated front wall was found not linearly increased. Across the chimney height, the decrease in heated surface temperature was influenced by the local heat transfer coefficient increase across the heated surface. Maximum air flow rate was found at 45 inclination angle for 200 mm air gap and 1.5 m chimney height under that climatic condition at that particular time.

Bansal et al. [16] have studied about modelling of window sized solar chimney for ventilation purpose. Mathematical model of the solar chimney has been developed to predict the air flow velocity by predicting the temperatures of glass cover, absorber wall and air flow in the chimney channel. It was found that theoretical calculated temperatures were reasonably closed with the experimental measured temperatures for the same range of solar radiation and temperature. The calculated temperature for glass and air flow were found to be lower than experimental measured value while calculated temperature for absorber wall was higher than experimental measured values. The heat transfer between absorber wall and air flow was more than the calculated value. Temperature difference between glass cover and air flow was reduced and thus reducing the heat transfer between glass and air flow. Temperature difference for glass was found at about 2%, for air at about 4% and for absorber wall at about 6% between experimental measured values and calculated values. Calculated air flow velocity and
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experimental air flow velocity for different three combinations of air gap and inlet size were reasonably close with the difference of less than 10%.

Gan.G [17] has discussed about effective depth of fresh air distribution in rooms with single-sided natural ventilation. Effective distribution of fresh air within a room is important for thermal comfort especially during summer days. Natural ventilation is less controllable than mechanical ventilation so effective fresh air distribution must be considered by examining the maximum room depth. Effective depth of a room can be found from the distributions of the predicted air flow velocity, temperature and local mean age. The effective room depth is influenced by the boundary conditions induced by the buoyancy force. CFD technique was utilized to predict the room air flow pattern, air flow temperature and air local mean age. In summer, thermal comfort becomes the limiting factor to the effective room depth. Window width and height as well as room heat gains affected the effective room depth. Lower window openings showed that maximum temperature of air inside the room was achieved for increasing room depth. Wide window openings on the other hand provide thermal comfort in the room with the increasing room depth as the air temperature inside the room was lower.

Bassiouny and Korah [18] studied about the effect of solar chimney inclination angle on space flow pattern and ventilation rate. The effect of inclination angle on air changes per hour and indoor air flow pattern was investigated analytically and numerically. Simulation was done to predict the air flow pattern. The inclination angles used in this study were 15, 30, 45, 60 and 75. Tilt angle of 15 showed a higher flow resistance at the chimney inlet. This was due to sudden flow contraction at the chimney inlet that created resistance to the flow penetration depth. As the inclination increased to 75, optimum flow pattern and penetration depth was showed where the air flow covered most of the space area. All mean temperatures for glass wall, air flow and absorber wall were found increasing with the increasing solar intensity. Absorber wall exhibited the highest temperature obtained. Black absorber wall captured more solar radiation and storing high thermal energy that induces heat transfer to the air flow in the chimney. Air exit velocity was found increasing when the inclination angle increased.
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The increased in air exit velocity was due to increase in stack height as the inclination angle increased. Increase in stack height improves the thermal buoyancy of the air flow eventhough the radiation captured is reduced with the increase of inclination angle. Maximum air flow rate was obtained for latitude of 28.4 at inclination angle between 45 and 70.

Prasad and Chandra [19] have investigated the optimum tilt of solar collector for maximum natural flow. Theoretical treatment was made to predict the natural flow rate through flat plate solar collector with heat losses. This study predicted the optimum inclination angle for the flat plate collector at a given latitude and insolation. At that particular latitude, it was found that higher inclination angles induced larger air flow rate and irradiation collected. Maximum air flow rate and maximum incident radiation collected at higher inclination angle was found during early months and later months of the year. For places near the equator, variation of inclination angle was very large during summer. At lower latitudes, maximum solar radiation can be collected when the collector was in horizontal position that decreased the air flow rate. Maximum air velocity measured for optimum inclined angle of 72 on 18th December 1984 was 0.57 m/s.

Gan. G [20] has discussed a parametric study of Trombe walls for passive cooling of buildings. Natural ventilation of rooms can be induced with a solar chimney or Trombe wall. Ventilation rates of Trombe wall used for summer cooling of rooms were predicted using CFD technique. Ventilation rate was increased with the wall temperature, wall height, wall thickness and solar heat gain. Ventilation rate also increased with increasing distance between absorber wall and glazing cover. Double glazing can be used to improve Trombe wall performance by enhancing passive cooling during hot summer days. Interior surface of the wall can be insulated to prevent overheating of air due to convective and radiative heat transfer from the wall thus maximising the ventilation rate.

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1.3 Objectives

To simulate theoretical predictions of glass cover, absorber plate and airflow mean temperatures, temperature rise in airflow and instantaneous efficiency. To study the effect of inclination angle (30, 45, 60) to its thermal performance.

1.4 Thesis Outline

Chapter 1: Introduction of natural convection solar air heater Chapter 2: Mathematical model of natural convection solar air heater. Chapter 3: Theoretical simulations Chapter 4: Comparison of theoretical and experimental results Chapter 5: Further recommendation for future studies Chapter 6: Conclusion

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CHAPTER 2

MATHEMATICAL MODEL

2.1 Thermal network

The theoretical model used in this research follows from previous research by Ong [1]. Longitudinal section through the air heater when inclined at an angle () to the horizontal is showed in Fig. 1. Natural convection solar air heater consists of glazing glass sheet at the top and aluminium plate painted matt black positioned below the glass sheet at a distance (d). The distance forms a duct or channel that allows air to flow in between. The solar air heater are insulated at the sides and bottom to prevent heat loss to the surrounding. External aluminium casing is used around the bottom and sides to protect and keep the heater in rectangular shape.

Air enters at the heater inlet with inlet temperature (Tf,i) being assumed equal to ambient temperature (Tamb). Incident solar radiation transmitted through the glass and heats up the aluminium absorber plate. Air that flows in the duct then heated up and rises to the heater outlet thus exits at outlet temperature (Tf,o). Temperature difference of inlet and outlet air flow induces natural convection current. Air flow along the duct is assumed one-dimensional. Air flow temperature profiles (Tf) and induced air velocity (Uf) are assumed uniform across the air gap. Temperatures of glass (T1), absorber plate (T2) and air (Tf) are assumed to be uniform along the flow.

Fig. 2 shows the thermal network developed for the heat flow in the solar air heater. From the thermal network, heat balance equations for glass (T1), absorber plate (T2) and air flow (Tf) temperatures are given:

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)(

( )

( )

( )

2.2 Temperature matrix

The heat will transferred to the air flow under natural convection in the duct. The equation for the heat transferred that occurred to the air flow may be written as:

( )

Meanwhile, experimental evidence showed that the temperature profile across the heater air gap is not uniform and unsymmetrical. Absorber plate exhibited the highest temperature than the glass surface and air flow. The axial mean air temperature distribution varies non-linearly and approximated by:

( )

Ratio is introduced as an indication of the mean induced air temperature from the axial temperature distribution. Ratio could be obtained from:

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( (

) )

( )

Therefore, equation for useful heat that being transferred to the air flow stream can be rewritten as,

( )

From the heat transfer equation, mean temperature matrices are obtained:

( ( ) ( )

( )

( ) ( )

( )

Inner glass surface temperature on the other hand could be obtained by:

)(

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Mean temperatures T1, Tf and T2 could be solved using standard matrix inversion programs. Iterative procedure is employed since fluid properties and induced air flow velocity are relied on the mean air temperatures.

2.3 Air mass flow rate

Induced volumetric air flow rate at the heater outlet can be found by equating the thermal buoyancy force required to overcome the pressure loss. The pressure loss inside the heater is due to the frictional loss and flow resistance at inlet and outlet.

Equivalent friction factor is given by:

( )

where for laminar flow,

is given by:

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Then, induced air mass flow rate can be obtained from:

2.4 Physical properties of air

The physical properties of air vary linearly with the mean air temperature due to low temperature range encountered. The empirical relationships proposed for the air physical properties are shown below based on the handbooks tabulated data of air properties between 300 and 350 K.

Density:

Dynamic viscosity:

)]

Specific heat:

)]

Thermal conductivity:

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2.5 Solar radiation

The solar radiation heat flux absorbed by the glass cover is given by:

While, the solar radiation heat flux absorbed by the aluminium absorber plate is

2.6 Radiation heat transfer coefficient from glass cover to sky

The heat transfer coefficient from the glass to the sky is referred to the ambient temperature can be obtained from:

( (

)(

)( )

With the sky temperature given by Swinbank [21] as

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2.7 Convection wind loss heat transfer from glass cover

Convection heat transfer coefficient from glass cover because of wind is given by Watmuff et al. [22]

2.8 Radiation heat transfer coefficient between glass cover and absorber plate

The heat transfer coefficient between glass and aluminium absorber plate is given by

( (

)(

) )

2.9 Natural convection heat transfer coefficient between glass and absorber plate

Azevedo and Sparrow [23] stated that global correlation for the mean heat transfer coefficient for an inclined channel that being heated on the top could be obtained by

Based on the experiment results, the temperature distribution throughout the air gap indicates that heat transfer to the air flow mainly by convection from absorber plate. Therefore, heat transfer coefficient between glass and absorber plate is assumed to be zero.
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2.10 Combination of heat loss from the rear side of air heater

The heat loss through the insulation at the rear side of solar air heater can be determined from the insulation thermal conductivity and thickness. The combination of convection and radiation heat loss from the rear surface to the surroundings (hw2) can be approximated as equal to 4 W/m2K based on the case of Trombe wall and solar roof collector.

2.11 Instantaneous efficiency

Instantaneous efficiency of the solar air heater could be obtained from

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CHAPTER 3

THEORETICAL SIMULATIONS

MATLAB simulations were performed in theoretical predictions. The simulation procedure developed is showed in Fig. 4. Theoretical simulations is used to predict the mean temperatures of absorber plate, glass and air flow as well as air temperature rise, induced air velocity and instantaneous efficiency. Simulations were done for inclination angles of 30, 45 and 60 according to the inclination angles used in the experiments with the solar radiation ranging from 100 W/m2 to 1000 W/m2. Input parameters to perform the simulations were dimensions of solar air heater model, glass transmissivity, mean temperature approximation, inlet and outlet loss coefficients, absorptivity, friction factor and emissivity. The input for solar air heater dimensions follow with the experimental model dimensions where the length (L) is 2.4 m, width (W) is 0.4 m and air gap (d) is 0.07 m. Other input parameters used in the simulations were: mean temperature approximation () = 0.74, glass transmissivity () = 0.77, glass absorptivity (1) = 0.06, absorber plate absorptivity (2) = 0.8, glass emissivity (1) = 0.9, absorber plate emissivity (2) = 0.95, inlet loss coefficient (Ki) = 0.5, outlet loss coefficient (Ko) = 1.0, friction factor (f) = 0.02 and coefficient of discharge (Cd) = 0.58. Ambient temperature of 34C and wind velocity of 0.55 m/s were assumed throughout the theoretical simulation process. The predicted mean temperatures, temperature rise, induced air flow velocity and instantaneous efficiency then plotted on the graph against the incident solar radiation.

3.1 Effect of solar radiation

Based on Fig. 6, Fig. 7, Fig. 10 and Fig. 11, effects of solar radiation on theoretical mean glass surface, absorber plate and air flow temperatures were showed. All mean temperatures for glass, absorber plate and air flow were increasing with incident solar radiation. Mean absorber plate temperature obtained the highest temperature. Comparing mean glass and air flow temperatures, mean glass temperature
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was higher than mean air flow temperature. From Fig. 8, Fig. 9, Fig. 12 and Fig. 13, effects of solar radiation on air temperature rise, induced air flow velocity and instantaneous efficiency were showed. Air temperature rise, induced air flow velocity and instantaneous efficiency were found increasing with incident solar radiation.

3.2 Effect of inclination angle

Different angles of inclination have the effects on solar air heater performance. By comparing the patterns observed in Fig. 6 Fig. 13, air temperature rise was found decreasing with increasing angle of inclination from 30 to 60. On the other hand, as the inclination angle increases, induced air flow velocity and instantaneous efficiency was increased. It is known that as the inclination angle increases, the normal incident solar radiation exposed to the heater surface will be lower. The normal incident solar radiation is actually equal to the solar radiation exposed on the horizontal heater surface multiplied with the cosine of the tilt angle. Therefore, it is not possible for highly steep inclined solar air heater to obtain 1000 W/m2. Less incident solar radiation may contribute to the decreasing air temperature rise when the inclination angle increases.

3.3 Effect of heater length

Fig. 14 shows the effect of solar air heater length towards the mean temperatures, air temperature rise, induced air flow velocity and instantaneous efficiency. The simulation was done with 30 inclination angle and incident solar radiation of 800 W/m2. As the heater length increased from 0.1 m to 20 m, all mean temperatures of absorber plate, glass and air flow were increased. Longer solar air heater lengths have large absorber plate areas and more solar radiation can be absorbed. The increasing pattern can also be seen for the induced air flow velocity and air temperature rise. Meanwhile, instantaneous efficiency was found decreasing with increasing heater lengths. It is known that instantaneous efficiency is inversely proportional with the heater length and incident solar radiation.
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3.4 Effect of air gap distance

Fig. 15 shows the effect of solar air heater air gap on the mean temperatures, air temperature rise, induced air flow velocity and instantaneous efficiency. The simulation was done with 30 tilt angle and incident solar radiation of 800 W/m2. Mean temperatures of glass, absorber plate and air flow were found decreasing but converged to constant values as the air gap distance increased from 0.01 m to 2 m. Air temperature rise and induced air flow velocity were also decreasing with the increasing air gap distance. On the other hand, instantaneous efficiency was found increasing as the air gap distance increased. All mean temperatures, induced air velocity, air temperature rise and instantaneous efficiency converged were found to be constant when the air gap distance was more than 0.5 m onwards.

3.5 Effect of inlet and outlet loss coefficients

Chandok, S [6] has discussed about the effect of inlet and outlet loss coefficients on the solar air heater performance. Small difference was found for mean temperatures of glass, absorber plate, air flow and instantaneous efficiency when loss coefficients were more than 0.5. Induced air velocity was found decreasing until converged to be constant from loss coefficients of 1.0 onwards. Meanwhile, air temperature rise was found increasing but converged to be constant after loss coefficients value of 1.0 onwards. The use of inlet loss coefficient (Ki) of 0.5 and outlet loss coefficient (Ko) of 1.0 were justified because its effects towards mean temperatures, air temperature rise, induced air velocity and instantaneous efficiency were found for loss coefficients values below 1.0.

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CHAPTER 4

COMPARISON OF THEORETICAL PREDICTION AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS

4.1 Experimental apparatus and setup

Experimental model was built using glass sheet, aluminium absorber plate, polystyrene and external aluminium casing. a thickness of 1 mm. Polystyrene has the thickness of 25 mm. Glass sheet was made the top part for glazing cover. Aluminium absorber plate was painted with a matt black paint and positioned below the glass cover at a distance of 0.07 m. The bottom and sides of the solar air heater were covered with polystyrene insulation along the heater length. Insulation was used to reduce the heat loss from rear and sides of the heater to surroundings. External aluminium casing was used along the rear and sides of the heater to support and hold the heater in rectangular shape.

The solar air heater model has a length of 2.4 m, width of 0.4 m and channel depth of 0.16 m for its dimensions. 2 experimental models were built with the same dimension to study the effect of 2 different inclination angles towards its thermal performance at a certain time. Type T copper-constantan thermocouples was used in measuring the temperatures of air flow, glass surface and absorber plate. There were a total of 52 thermocouple points located at both of the heater models. Each model has 26 thermocouple points at various locations on glass surface, absorber plate and inside the air flow channel. The glass surface and absorber plate temperatures were also measured on the centerline. All the thermocouple probes were connected to the data logger for temperature measuring purpose. The temperatures were measured and recorded for every minute during the experiment

The solar air heater models were positioned with the glazing glass cover facing the south. Wind anemometer was used to record the variation of wind velocity
24

throughout the experiment. Anemometer air probe on the other hand was used to measure the induced velocity of air flow at the heater inlet. All velocity data were measured for every 10 minutes throughout the experiment. 2 Kipp and Zonen solarimeters were used to record incident instantaneous radiation on the heater during experiment. The solarimeters were positioned beside the heater to measure the instantaneous solar radiation for every minute.

4.2 Comparison of results for run 1

The experiment was done on sunny day between 11.00 AM and 2.00 PM. Experimental results between 11.00 AM and 12.00 PM for the 30 inclined heater were neglected due to shading problem around the solarimeter and the collector. The angles of inclination selected in this study were 30, 45 and 60. Experimental procedure done was to study the thermal performance of both solar air heater models with different tilt angles simultaneously at the same time. In experimental study, run 1 was done on 14th May 2012. Run 1 was done with solar air heater models inclined at 30 and 60.

4.2.1 Comparison between theoretical and experimental mean temperatures

Mean temperatures of glass surface, absorber plate and air flow obtained from the run was plotted against the incident solar radiation measured. Fig. 6 shows the difference on mean temperatures of glass surface, absorber plate and air flow between experimental and theoretical predictions for heater model inclined at 30. All mean temperatures of glass surface, absorber plate and air flow were increased with increasing incident solar radiation. Experimental mean temperatures for absorber plate, glass surface and air flow were slightly increasing with the incident solar radiation. Highest temperature obtained was the absorber plate mean temperature for both theory and experiment. Mean glass surface temperature was higher than the mean air flow temperature for theoretical prediction. Meanwhile, experimental result showed that mean air flow temperature was higher than the mean glass surface temperature. This
25

discrepancy can be explained in terms of the convection heat transfer between surfaces and air flow. Larger convective heat transfer occurred between absorber plate and the air flow in experiments that resulted in air flow temperature rise and exceed mean glass surface temperature.

Fig. 7 shows the difference on mean temperatures of absorber plate, glass surface and air flow between experimental and theoretical for another heater model inclined at 60. Mean temperatures for absorber plate, glass and airflow were increasing with the incident solar radiation. Experimental result showed that the mean temperatures were slightly increased with increasing incident solar radiation. At 60, incident solar radiation normal to the glass surface will be reduced due to the effect of higher inclination angle. Therefore, experimental result showed lower incident solar radiation measured which ranging from 100 to 200 W/m2.

4.2.2 Comparison between theoretical and experimental induced air flow velocity

Fig. 8 shows the comparison of experimental and theoretical results of induced air velocity for a 30 inclined heater in run 1. Theoretically, the induced air velocity was found increasing as the incident solar radiation increased. However, experimental result showed that the induced air flow velocity was decreased with increasing incident solar radiation. This discrepancy may be due to the great fluctuations of the air velocity during the experiment. The fluctuation of air velocity was influenced by the variation of wind velocities at that time. Low inclination angle also contributed to the air velocity decreasing pattern in the experiment results. Lower inclination angle such as 15 and 30 will make the light heated air not exited effectively at the outlet. On the other hand, at another heater model inclined at 60, the experimental air flow velocity was slightly increased with the incident solar radiation. This pattern was showed on Fig. 9.

26

4.2.3 Comparison between theoretical and experimental air temperature ris Fig. 8 shows the difference of theoretical and experimental result on air flow temperature rise for the heater inclined at 30. In theoretical prediction, air flow temperature rise was increased as incident solar radiation increases. Meanwhile, experimental result showed that air flow temperature rise was slightly decreasing with incident solar radiation. This may occurred because of the fluctuations of incident solar radiation measured where low irradiation was spotted around 1.00 PM to 1.40 PM. Low incident solar radiation corresponds to low air temperature rise. On the other hand, in theoretical prediction, the temperature rise was calculated by deducting mean outlet air temperature with ambient temperature. Ambient temperature was assumed at 34C and this corresponds to the increasing pattern in air temperature rise for theoretical prediction. However, from Fig. 9, air temperature rise was slightly increased and follows the pattern of theoretical prediction. This result was found for another heater inclined at 60 at the same time.

4.2.4 Comparison between theoretical and experimental instantaneous efficiency

Fig. 8 and Fig. 9 show that for theoretical predictions, instantaneous efficiency was increased with the increasing incident solar radiation. Experimental result on the other hand showed that instantaneous efficiency was decreasing with increasing incident solar radiation. This may be due to empirical assumptions were made for the theoretical predictions that leads to this discrepancy. Low and decreasing air temperature rise in experimental result also contributed to the low instantaneous efficiency.

27

4.3 Comparison of results for run 2

Run 2 consisted of conducting the experiment with the heater models inclined at 30 and 45. This run was done on 15th May 2012. As usual, the experimental measurements were recorded from 11.00 AM to 2.00 PM. The mean temperatures, induced air flow velocity, air temperature rise and instantaneous efficiency obtained were plotted against the incident solar radiation measured. Experimental results then compared with the theoretical predictions.

4.3.1 Comparison of theoretical and experimental mean temperatures

Based on Fig. 10 and Fig. 11, theoretical prediction showed that all mean temperatures for glass surface, absorber plate and air flow were increased with increasing incident solar radiation. Experimental mean temperatures for both 30 and 60 were slightly increased with incident solar radiation.

Theoretically, mean glass surface temperature was higher than mean air flow temperature. Based on Fig. 10, where the heater was inclined at 30, mean air flow temperature was slightly higher than mean glass surface temperature. This may occurred due to larger heat transferred to the air flow in the channel from the absorber plate. On the other hand, based on Fig. 11, where the heater was inclined at 45, mean glass surface temperature was slightly higher than mean air flow temperature. This mean temperature was somewhat agreeable to the theory where mean glass surface temperature exhibits higher temperature than mean air flow temperature.

4.3.2 Comparison of theoretical and experimental induced air flow velocity

Fig. 12 shows the comparison between theoretical and experimental result of induced air flow velocity for heater inclined at 30 in run 2. Theoretically, induced air
28

flow velocity increased with increasing incident solar radiation. Experiment result for induced air flow velocity was slightly agreeable with the theory. Experimental induced air flow velocity was increasing as the incident solar radiation increased from 300 to 700 W/m2. Based on Fig. 13, where the heater inclined at 45 in run 2, experimental induced air flow velocity was found decreasing. This may be due to fluctuations of wind velocities that affected the accuracy of experimental results.

4.3.3 Comparison of theoretical and experimental air temperature rise

Based on Fig. 12 and Fig. 13, theoretical prediction showed that air flow temperature rise was increasing with ascending incident solar radiation. For the heater inclined at 30 in run 2, experimental air flow temperature rise was slightly increased when incident solar radiation increased from 300 to 700 W/m2. At the same time, for another heater inclined at 45, experimental air flow temperature rise was also found increasing as the incident solar radiation increased from 200 to 600 W/m2. Both experimental results were slightly following the theoretical prediction pattern.

4.3.4 Comparison of theoretical and experimental instantaneous efficiency

From Fig. 12 and Fig. 13, theoretical prediction showed that instantaneous efficiency was increased with increasing incident solar radiation. Experimental instantaneous efficiency for the heater inclined at 30 in run 2 was slightly decreasing as the incident solar radiation increased from 300 to 700 W/m2. At the same time for another heater inclined at 45, the experimental instantaneous efficiency was also found to be decreasing with the increasing incident solar radiation. Fluctuations in air flow velocities and empirical assumptions made for the theoretical prediction affected both theoretical and experimental instantaneous efficiency results.

29

CHAPTER 5

FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE STUDIES

In order to improve both theoretical and experimental results, further recommendations must be made to obtain more reliable results for performance comparison. There were further changes should be made in the experiment procedure to improve its results.

1. More experimental runs should be conducted. Due to lack of time and limited project period, only two experimental runs were done. Therefore, more experimental runs should be conducted in the future to obtain more reliable results of solar air heater performance. Ambient temperature also should be measured in the future experimental runs by making another thermocouple point located around the solar air heater area.

2. The 2 heater models should be distance apart from each other to prevent shading. Shading occurred at solarimeter area in previous runs from 11.00 AM to 12.00 PM. The shade has affected the accuracy of experimental results. Therefore, instead of locating the air heater side by side, both heater models should be distance apart from each other to prevent the shading effect.

30

CHAPTER 6

CONCLUSION

Theoretical model of the natural convection solar air heater has been studied in terms of mathematical model and simulation. Mean temperatures of absorber plate, air flow and glass surface as well as induced air flow velocity, air flow temperature rise and instantaneous efficiency have been simulated. The effects of varying length and air gap distance of the heater towards the mean temperatures, air flow velocity as well as temperature rise and instantaneous efficiency have been studied. Comparison of the theoretical predictions and experimental results was done for the 2 runs consist of 30, 45 and 60 tilt angles. In order to improve the discrepancies in the comparison analysis, more experiment runs should be conducted in future to obtain more reliable results.

31

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, A/Prof. Ong Kok Seng for his continuous guidance and constructive feedbacks that have been given during the project period, my project partner Ms. Wan Nur Raihan for being a cooperative partner in the experimental works, all engineering lab technicians especially, Mr. Azlan, Mr. Nasrun and Mr. Syed Khalid for guidance and helps in technical components especially when constructing the solar air heater experimental models and other mechanical engineering peers for giving continuous supports.

32

NOMENCLATURE Cross sectional area of the heater (m2) Specific heat (J/kg.K) Depth of air flow channel (m) Equivalent diameter (m) Friction factor Equivalent friction factor Gravitational acceleration (m/s2) Grashof number (gTd3 / 2) Horizontal solar radiation (W/m2) Inclined incident solar radiation (W/m2) Convection heat transfer coefficient between glass cover and air flow (W/m2.K)

A cf d Dh f fe g Gr Ho H h1

h2 Convection heat transfer coefficient between absorber plate and air flow 2 (W/m .K) hw1 hw2 hrs hr12 kg kins Ki Ko L Nu Pr Convection wind loss heat transfer from glass cover (W/m2.K) Convection wind loss heat transfer from the heater rear sides (W/m2.K) Radiation heat transfer coefficient from glass cover to sky (W/m2.K) Radiation heat transfer coefficient by glass cover and absorber plate (W/m2.K) Thermal conductivity of glass cover (W/m.K) Thermal conductivity of insulation (W/m.K) Inlet head loss coefficient Outlet head loss coefficient Length of the solar air heater Induced air mass flow rate (kg/s) Nusselts number (hd / k) Prandtl number (c / k)
33

Heat flux transferred to the air flow (W/m2) Induced volumetric air flow rate (m3/s)

Ra ReDh S1 S2 Tamb Ts uwind W

Rayleigh number (gTd3 / = Gr Pr) Reynolds number [2 / (W+d)] Solar radiation heat flux absorbed by the glass cover (W/m2) Solar radiation heat flux absorbed by the absorber plate (W/m2) Ambient temperature (K) Temperature of sky (K) Wind velocity (m/s) Width of the solar air heater

Greek symbols xg xins Absorptivity Coefficient of expansion (1/K) Gamma ratio (Mean temperature approximation) Glass emissivity Glass transmissivity Dynamic viscosity (kg/m.s) Kinematic viscosity (m2/s) Stefan-Boltzmann constant Glass thickness (m) Insulation thickness (m) Density (kg/m3) Inclination angle () Instantaneous efficiency (%)

34

Subscripts 1 2 f 3 i o Glass cover at the top Aluminium absorber plate Induced air flow Inner glass cover Heater inlet Heater outlet

35

REFERENCES

1. Ong, K.S and Than, C.F (2005), A theoretical model of a natural convection solar air heater, Proc. 5th Asia Pacific Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environmental Technologies. 2. Ong, K.S and Chow, C.C (2003), Performance of a solar chimney, Solar Energy, Vol.74, pp. 1-17 3. Sakonidou, E.P et al. (2008), Modelling of the optimum tilt of a solar chimney for maximum air flow, Solar Energy, Vol.82, pp. 80-94 4. Chang, T.P (2009), The suns apparent position and the optimal tilt angle of a solar collector in the northern hemisphere, Solar Energy, Vol.83, pp. 1274-1284 5. Tan, T.T (2002), Effect of Inclination on the performance of a natural convection solar air heater, Final Year Mechanical Engineering Thesis, Monash University Malaysia 6. Chandok, S. (2008), Thermal performance of a natural convection solar air heater theoretical model, Final Year Mechanical Engineering Thesis, Monash University Malaysia 7. Khedari, J et al. (2002), Experimental investigation of free convection in roof solar collector, Building and Environment, Vol.37, pp. 455-459 8. Khedari, J et al. (1997), Experimental study of a roof solar collector towards the natural ventilation of new houses, Energy and Buildings, Vol.26, pp. 159-164 9. Burek, S.A.M, Habeb, A. (2007), Air flow and thermal efficiency characteristics in solar chimneys and Trombe Walls, Energy and Buildings, Vol.39, pp. 128-135 10. Harris, D.J, Helwig, N. (2007), Solar chimney and building ventilation, Applied Energy, Vol.84, pp. 135-146 11. Mathur, J, Anupma, Mathur, S. (2006), Summer performance of inclined roof solar chimney for natural ventilation, Energy and Buildings, Vol.38, pp. 1156-1163 12. Mathur, J, Bansal, N.K, Mathur, S, Jain, M, Anupma (2006), Experimental investigations on solar chimney for room ventilation, Solar Energy, Vol.80, pp. 927935 13. Chantawong, P, Hirunlabh, J, Zeghmati, B, Khedari, J, Teekasap, S, Win, M.M (2006), Investigation on thermal performance of glazed solar chimney walls, Solar Energy, Vol.80, pp. 288-297
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14. Bassiouny, R, Koura, N.S.A. (2008), An analytical and numerical study of solar chimney use for room natural ventilation, Energy and Buildings, Vol.40, pp. 865873 15. Chen, Z.D, Bandopadhayay, P, Halldorson, J, Byrjalsen, C, Heiselberg, P, Li, Y. (2003), An experimental investigation of a solar chimney model with uniform wall heat flux, Building and Environment, Vol.38, pp. 893-906 16. Bansal, N.K, Mathur, J, Mathur, S, Jain, M. (2005), Modelling of window-sized solar chimneys for ventilation, Building and Environment, Vol.40, pp. 1302-1308 17. Gan, G. (2000), Effective depth of fresh air distribution in rooms with single-sided natural ventilation, Energy and Buildings, Vol.31, pp. 65-73 18. Bassiouny, R, Korah, N.S.A. (2009), Effect of solar chimney inclination angle on space flow pattern and ventilation rate, Energy and Buildings, Vol.41, pp. 190-196 19. Prasad, M, Chandra, K.S. (1990), Optimum tilt of solar collector for maximum natural flow, Energy Conversion Management, Vol.30, pp. 369-379 20. Gan, G. (1998), A parametric study of Trombe walls for passive cooling of buildings, Energy and Buildings, Vol.27, pp. 37-43 21. Swinbank, W.C. (1963), Long-wave radiation from clear skies, Q.J.R. Meteoro. Soc., Vol.89, pp.339-349 22. Watmuff, J.H, Charters, W.W.S, Proctor, D. (1977), Solar and wind induced external coefficients solar collectors, Int. Revue dHellio-technique, Vol.2, pp. 56 23. Azevedo, L.F.A, Sparrow, E.M. (1985), Natural convection in open-ended inclined channels, Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol.107, pp. 893-901

37

FIGURES

Fig. 1: Longitudinal section through the solar air heater model

38

Fig. 2: Thermal network developed for the heat flow in solar air heater

39

Fig. 3: Heat balance to the air flow in solar air heater

40

Fig. 4: Simulation procedure for theoretical prediction in MATLAB

41

Fig. 5: Experimental setup for natural convection solar air heater

42

Run 1: 30
100 90

Tabs (theory) Tg (theory) Tf (expt)

Mean temperatures (C)

80 70 60 50 40 30

Tabs (expt)

Tg (expt)
20
10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600

Tf (theory)

700

800

900

Incident solar radiation, H (W/m)


Fig. 6: Comparison of theoretical and experimental mean temperatures for 30 inclined heater (Run 1)

43

Run 1: 60
100 90

Mean temperatures (C)

80 70 60 50 40 30

Tabs (theory) Tabs (expt) Tf (expt)

Tg (theory)

Tg (expt)
20 10 0 0 100 200 300

Tf (theory)

400

500

600

700

800

900

Incident solar radiation, H (W/m)


Fig. 7: Comparison of theoretical and experimental mean temperatures for 60 inclined heater (Run 1)

44

Run 1: 30

Instantaneous efficiency, i (%) Airflow temperature rise, Tf (C)

100

90
80 70 60 50

0.9

i (expt) u (expt)

u (theory)

0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5

i (theory)
40
30 20 10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900

0.4

Tf (expt) Tf (theory)

0.3 0.2 0.1 0

Incident solar radiation, H (W/m)


Fig. 8: Comparison of theoretical and experimental temperature rise, induced air flow and instantaneous efficiency for 30 (Run 1)

Induced airflow velocity, u (m/s)


45

Run 1: 60
100 1 0.9 0.8

Instantaneous efficiency, i (%) Airflow temperature rise, Tf (C)

90 80

u (theory)
70 60 50

u (expt)

0.7 0.6 0.5

i (theory)
40 30 20 10 0

i (expt)

0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0

Tf (expt)

Tf (theory)

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

Incident solar radiation, H (W/m)


Fig. 9: Comparison of theoretical and experimental temperature rise, induced air flow and instantaneous efficiency for 60 (Run 1)

Induced airflow velocity, u (m/s)


46

Run 2: 30
100 90

Tabs (theory) Tabs (expt) Tg (theory)

Mean temperatures (C)

80 70

Tf (expt)
60 50 40 30

Tg (expt)
20 10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600

Tf (theory)

700

800

900

Incident solar radiation, H (W/m)


Fig. 10: Comparison of theoretical and experimental mean temperatures for 30 inclined heater (Run 2)

47

Run 2: 45
100 90

Tabs (theory) Tabs (expt) Tg (expt)

Mean temperatures (C)

80 70 60

Tg (theory)

50
40 30

Tf (expt)
20 10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500

Tf (theory)

600

700

800

900

Incident solar radiation, H (W/m)


Fig. 11: Comparison of theoretical and experimental mean temperatures for 45 inclined heater (Run 2)

48

Run 2: 30
30 1

Instantaneous efficiency, i (%) Airflow temperature rise, Tf (C)

i (theory)
25

0.9 0.8

u (theory)
20

0.7 0.6

15

i (expt)

u (expt)

0.5 0.4

10

0.3 0.2

Tf (expt)
0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600

Tf (theory)
700 800 900

0.1 0

Incident solar radiation, H (W/m)


Fig. 12: Comparison of theoretical and experimental temperature rise, induced air flow and instantaneous efficiency for 30 (Run 2)

Induced airflow velocity, u (m/s)


49

Run 2: 45 Instantaneous efficiency, i (%) Airflow temperature rise, Tf (C)


100 90 80 70 60 50 40 1 0.9

u (theory) u (expt)

0.8 0.7 0.6

i (expt) i (theory) Tf (theory)

0.5 0.4

30
20 10 0

0.3
0.2

Tf (expt)

0.1 0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

Incident solar radiation, H (W/m)


Fig. 13: Comparison of theoretical and experimental temperature rise, induced air flow and instantaneous efficiency for 45 (Run 2)

Induced airflow velocity, u (m/s)


50

= 30, H = 800 W/m


Mean temperatures (C) Instantaneous efficiency, i (%) Airflow temperature rise, Tf (C)
90
80 70

18

Tabs Tg

16 14 12

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 5 10 15 20 25

Tf i Tf u

10 8 6 4 2 0

Length, L (m)
Fig. 14: Effect of solar air heater length on mean temperatures, air temperature rise, induced air velocity and instantaneous efficiency

Induced airflow velocity, u (m/s)


51

100

20

= 30, H = 800 W/m


Mean temperatures (C) Instantanneous efficiency, i (%) Airflow temperature rise, Tf (C)
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 5 4.5

Tabs Tg

4
3.5 3

Tf

2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0

Tf

Distance across air gap, d (m)


Fig. 15: Effect of air gap distance on mean temperatures, air temperature rise, induced air velocity and instantaneous efficiency

Induced airflow velocity, u (m/s)


52

53

APPENDIX

Theoretical simulations codings in MATLAB % This program predicts induced air flow temperature and velocity in % solar air heaters. % Physical properties of the solar air heater. clear; clc; fprintf('\n'); fprintf('Case: Inclined Solar Air Heater\n'); fprintf('\n'); fprintf('INPUT DATA\n'); d = 0.07; % Gap width H = 100; % Instantaneous solar radiation Gamma = 0.74; % Gamma ratio L = 2.40; % Length of solar heater Ki = 0.5; % Inlet loss coefficient Ko = 1.0; % Outlet loss coefficient alpha_1 = 0.06; % Absorptivity of top plate alpha_2 = 0.80; % Absorptivity of bottom plate tau_1 = 0.77; % Transmissivity of top plate epsilon_1 = 0.90; % Emissivity of top plate epsilon_2 = 0.95; % Emissivity of bottom plate W = 0.40; % Width of solar air heater Theta = 30; % Inclination angle x_ins = 0.05; % Insulation thickness x_g = 0.003; % Glass thickness k_ins = 0.049; % Insulation thermal conductivity k_g = 1.4; % Glass thermal conductivity Cd = 0.58; % Coefficient of discharge sigma = 5.67e-8; % Stefan-Boltzmann constant g = 9.81; % Gravitational constant hw2 = 4; % Combined conv & rad htc for rear of wall A_i = W*d; % Cross sectional area at inlet A_o = W*d; % Cross-sectional area at outlet u_wind = 0.55; % Wind velocity Ta = 34; % Ambient temperature f = 0.02; % Friction factor fprintf('\n'); fprintf('Air gap: %g\n', d); fprintf('Solar radiation: %g\n', H); fprintf('Inclination angle: %g\n', Theta); fprintf('Gamma ratio: %g\n', Gamma); fprintf('Wind velocity: %g\n', u_wind); fprintf('Glass transmissivity: %g\n', tau_1);

% Assume air inlet temp = ambient temp TaK = Ta + 273; TfiK = TaK; % Calculate equivalent diameter D_h = 2*W*d/(W+d); % Calculate sky temperature(K) TsK = 0.0552*TaK^1.5; % Calculate inclination effect to the incident solar radiation H_theta = H*cosd(Theta); % Calculate solar radiation absorbed by top and bottom plates S1 = alpha_1*H_theta; S2 = tau_1*alpha_2*H_theta; % Calculate top plate wind heat loss coefficient hw1 = 2.8 + 3*u_wind; % Calculate inlet air density rho_fi = 1.1614 - 0.00353*(TfiK - 300); % Guess initial mean temperatures T1 = 60; Tf = 35; T2 = 45; T3 = T1 - 5; T1K = T1 + 273; TfK = Tf + 273; T2K = T2 + 273; T3K = T3 + 273; % Start iteration ITER = 1; % This while loop will be executed as long as acceptable tolerances % have not yet been achieved accept_tol = 0; while ~accept_tol % Establish mean temperatures vector. T_guessK = [T1K; TfK; T2K]; % Calculate air outlet temperature TfoK = TfK/Gamma - TfiK*(1-Gamma)/Gamma; % Calculate mean air properties rho_f = 1.1614 - 0.00353*(TfK - 300); % Density mu_f = (18.46 + 0.0472*(TfK - 300))*1e-6; % Dynamic viscosity

k_f = 0.0263 + 0.000074*(TfK - 300); % Thermal conductivity c_f = (1.007 + 0.00004*(TfK -300))*1000; % Specific heat nu_f = mu_f/rho_f; % Kinematic viscosity beta_f = 1/TfK; % Coefficient of expansion Pr = c_f*mu_f/k_f; % Prandtl number % Calculate film properties adjacent to bottom plate Tf2K = (TfK + T2K)/2; % Reference temperature rho_f2 = 1.1614 - 0.00353*(Tf2K - 300); % Density mu_f2 = (18.46 + 0.0472*(Tf2K - 300))*1e-6; % Dynamic viscosity k_f2 = 0.0263 + 0.000074*(Tf2K - 300); % Thermal conductivity c_f2 = (1.007 + 0.00004*(Tf2K -300))*1000; % Specific heat nu_f2 = mu_f2/rho_f2; % Kinematic viscosity beta_f2 = 1/Tf2K; % Coefficient of expansion Pr_f2 = c_f2*mu_f2/k_f2; % Prandtl number % Calculate film properties adjacent to top plate Tf1K = (TfK + T3K)/2; % Reference temperature rho_f1 = 1.1614 - 0.00353*(Tf1K - 300); % Density mu_f1 = (18.46 + 0.0472*(Tf1K - 300))*1e-6; % Dynamic viscosity k_f1 = 0.0263 + 0.000074*(Tf1K - 300); % Thermal conductivity c_f1 = (1.007 + 0.00004*(Tf1K -300))*1000; % Specific heat nu_f1 = mu_f1/rho_f1; % Kinematic viscosity beta_f1 = 1/Tf1K; % Coefficient of expansion Pr_f1 = c_f1*mu_f1/k_f1; % Prandtl number % Calculate outlet air density rho_fo = 1.1614 - 0.00353*(TfoK - 300); % Calculate equivalent friction factor fe = Ko + Ki*(rho_fo/rho_fi)^2 + f*(L/D_h)*(rho_fo/rho_fi)^2; % Calculate air flow Q_o = A_o*(2/fe)^0.5*(g*L*sin(Theta*pi/180)*(TfoK-TfiK)/TfK)^0.5; m = rho_fo*Q_o; u_o = Q_o/A_o; % Calculate radiation heat transfer coefficients hrs = sigma*epsilon_1*(T1K^2 + TsK^2)*(T1K + TsK)*(T1K - TsK) / (T1K - TaK); hr12 = sigma*(T1K^2 + T2K^2)*(T1K + T2K) / (1/epsilon_1 + 1/epsilon_2 - 1); % Calculate Grashof number and Rayleigh number for bottom plate - air if T2K > TfK Gr_2 = g*beta_f2*(T2K -TfK)*d^3 / nu_f2^2; else Gr_2 = g*beta_f2*(TfK -T2K)*d^3 / nu_f2^2; end Ra_2 = Gr_2*Pr_f2;

% Calculate Grashof number and Rayleigh number for top plate - air if T1K > TfK Gr_1 = g*beta_f1*(T1K -TfK)*d^3 / nu_f1^2; else Gr_1 = g*beta_f1*(TfK -T1K)*d^3 / nu_f1^2; end Ra_1 = Gr_1*Pr_f1; % Calculate Nusselt number for bottom plate - air Nu_2 = 0.645*(d*Ra_2/L)^0.25; % Calculate Nusselt number for top plate - air Nu_1 = 0.645*(d*Ra_1/L)^0.25; % Calculate natural convection heat transfer coefficients h1 = Nu_1*k_f1 /d; h2 = Nu_2*k_f2 /d; % Modify h1 for temp drop across glass thickness h1new = 1/((1/h1) + (x_g/k_g)); % Set up matrices A = [h1+hr12+hw1+hrs, -h1, -hr12; h1, -(h1+h2+(m*c_f)/(Gamma*W*L)), h2; -hr12, -h2, h2+hr12+(hw2*k_ins)/(k_ins+hw2*x_ins)]; B = [(hw1+hrs)*TaK + S1; -(m*c_f*TfiK)/(Gamma*W*L); S2 + (hw2*k_ins*TaK)/(k_ins+hw2*x_ins)]; % New temperature vector TnewK TnewK = inv(A)*B; T1newK = TnewK(1); TfnewK = TnewK(2); T2newK = TnewK(3); % Calculate new outlet air temperature TfonewK = TfnewK/Gamma - TfiK*(1-Gamma)/Gamma; TfonewC = TfonewK - 273; % Calculate new air flow rho_fnew = 1.1614 - 0.00353*(TfnewK - 300); rho_fonew = 1.1614 - 0.00353*(TfonewK - 300); Q_onew = A_o*(2/fe)^0.5*(g*L*sin(Theta*pi/180)*(TfonewK-TfiK)/TfnewK)^0.5; mnew = rho_fonew*Q_onew; u_onew = Q_onew/A_o; % Calculate Reynolds number and friction factors mu_fnew = (18.46 + 0.0472*(TfnewK - 300))*1e-6; Re_new = 2 * m /(mu_fnew * (W + d)); f_new = 64/Re_new; fe_new = Ko + Ki*(rho_fonew/rho_fi)^2 + f_new*(L/D_h)*(rho_fonew/rho_fi)^2;

% Determine conditions if abs((T1newK-T1K)/T1K)*100<0.001 & abs((TfnewK-TfK)/TfK)*100<0.001 & abs((T2newK-T2K)/T2K)*100<0.001 & abs((TfonewK-TfoK)/TfoK)*100<0.001 & abs((mnew-m)/m)*100<0.001 & abs((f_new-f)/f)*100<0.001 accept_tol = 1; else accept_tol = 0; % Replace new values for TguessK vector T1K = T1newK; TfK = TfnewK; T2K = T2newK; f = f_new; % Iteration count ITER = ITER + 1; end end % New top plate, air flow and bottom plate temperatures (deg. C) T1newC = T1newK - 273; TfnewC = TfnewK - 273; T2newC = T2newK - 273; T3newK = T1newK-h1*(x_g/k_g)*(T1newK-TfnewK); T3newC = T3newK - 273; % New air flow m = mnew; Q_o = Q_onew; u_o = u_onew; % Calculate efficiency Eff = m*c_f*(TfonewK-TfiK)*100/(W*L*H_theta); % Print results fprintf('\n'); fprintf('CALCULATED RESULTS\n'); fprintf('\n'); fprintf('Inclined Solar radiation: %g\n', H_theta); fprintf('Mean top plate temperature: %g\n', T1newC); fprintf('Mean bottom plate temperature: %g\n', T2newC); fprintf('Mean air flow temperature: %g\n', TfnewC); fprintf('Mean inner top plate temperature: %g\n', T3newC); fprintf('Air inlet temperature: %g\n', Ta); fprintf('Air outlet temperature: %g\n', TfonewC); fprintf('Air velocity: %g\n', u_o); fprintf('Outlet volumetric flow rate: %g\n', Q_o); fprintf('Air mass flow rate: %g\n', m); fprintf('Efficiency (percent): %g\n', Eff); fprintf('Rayleigh Number (bottom plate): %g\n', Ra_2);

fprintf('Rayleigh Number (top plate): %g\n', Ra_1); fprintf('Grashof Number (bottom plate): %g\n', Gr_2); fprintf('Grashof Number (top plate): %g\n', Gr_1); fprintf('Nusselt Number (bottom plate): %g\n', Nu_2); fprintf('Nusselt Number (top plate): %g\n', Nu_1); fprintf('Reynolds Number air flow: %g\n', Re_new); fprintf('HTC (bottom plate): %g\n', h2); fprintf('HTC (top plate): %g\n', h1); fprintf('New HTC (top plate) %g\n', h1new); fprintf('Equivalent friction factor: %g\n', fe_new); fprintf('Friction factor: %g\n', f_new); fprintf('Iteration: %g\n', ITER);

Tables for theoretical predictions data

Incident Solar Radiation (W/m^2)

Mean top glass temperature, T1 (C)

Mean absorber plate temperature, T2 (C) 40.4253 47.3983 54.3195 60.7884 66.9211 72.7819 78.413 83.8445 89.0992 94.1953

Mean air flow temperature, Tf (C)

Airflow tempera ture rise, Tf (C)

Airflow velocity ,U (m/s)

Efficiency (%)

86.6025 173.205 259.808 346.41 433.013 519.615 606.218 692.82 779.423 866.025

34.0003 36.1269 39.0361 41.8134 44.5156 47.1648 49.7734 52.3491 54.8967 57.4199

35.0099 35.9735 36.881 37.6982 38.4496 39.1514 39.8138 40.4437 41.046 41.6245

1.3647 2.6668 3.8932 4.9975 6.0129 6.9613 7.8564 8.7077 9.5216 10.3033

0.21106 0.31414 0.39004 0.44874 0.49724 0.53897 0.57582 0.60897 0.63918 0.66700

11.0603 16.0203 19.285 21.2868 22.632 23.5966 24.3187 24.875 25.3121 25.6603

Table 1: Theoretical predictions for 30 inclination angle

Incident Solar Radiation (W/m^2) 70.7107 141.421 212.132 282.843 353.553 424.264 494.975 565.685 636.396 707.107

Mean top glass temperature, T1 (C) 34.0001 34.9656 37.3929 39.6902 41.9183 44.0995 46.2452 48.3628 50.4569 52.531

Mean absorber plate temperature, T2 (C) 39.3003 44.6303 50.4631 55.925 61.1175 66.0938 70.8879 75.524 80.0202 84.3907

Mean air flow temperatur e, Tf (C) 34.7765 35.4359 36.1377 36.7748 37.3615 37.9098 38.4278 38.9208 39.3927 39.8462

Airflow temperatur e rise, Tf (C) 1.0494 1.9404 2.8887 3.7497 4.5425 5.2836 5.9836 6.6498 7.2874 7.9003

Airflow velocity, U (m/s) 0.22212 0.31946 0.40093 0.46399 0.51595 0.56057 0.59993 0.63531 0.66754 0.69722

Efficien cy (%)

10.9728 14.5507 18.0707 20.305 21.8282 22.9342 23.7733 24.4298 24.9549 25.3819

Table 2: Theoretical predictions for 45 inclination angle

Incident Solar Radiation (W/m^2) 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500

Mean top glass temperatu re, T1 (C) 34 34.0007 35.2435 36.9558 38.59 40.1818 41.7434 43.2816 44.8007 46.3039

Mean absorber plate temperature , T2 (C) 37.826 41.2892 45.3195 49.4353 53.3532 57.1201 60.7617 64.2952 67.7334 71.086

Mean air flow temperature , Tf (C) 34.5587 34.9489 35.4286 35.8921 36.3268 36.7343 37.1198 37.4872 37.8393 38.1781

Airflow temperatur e difference, Tf (C) 0.755 1.2823 1.9305 2.5569 3.1443 3.695 4.216 4.7124 5.1882 5.6461

Airflow velocity ,U (m/s) 0.20567 0.28247 0.35791 0.41963 0.47100 0.51499 0.55369 0.58841 0.62001 0.64909

Efficienc y (%)

10.3473 12.049 15.2914 17.7746 19.5918 20.9416 21.9841 22.8142 23.4908 24.0523

Table 3: Theoretical predictions for 60 inclination angle

Table for experimental results

Run 1 (14/5/2012)
H 300 300 300 400 400 400 600 600 600 Tabs 61.5 63.5 56 62.5 63.5 55.5 64 65 56.5 Tg 45 46 44 44.5 46 45 46 47 44.5 Tf 47 50 46 48 49.5 46.5 49 49.5 47 U 0.48 0.42 0.58 0.46 0.36 0.56 0.35 0.32 0.49 Tf 10 5 4 10 4.5 3.5 9 2.5 3 i 82 51 45 60 35 43 21 12 18

Table 4: Measured experimental data for 30 inclined heater in Run 1

H 120 150 150 150 150 170 170 170

Tabs 46 48.5 47.5 46 46 45.5 47.5 48

Tg 41.5 44 43 42 41.5 40 42 42.5

Tf 46 48 45.5 45 44.5 44 44.5 46

U 0.4 0.59 0.43 0.46 0.39 0.32 0.4 0.61

Tf 1.7 2.4 2 1.5 3 2.6 2 2.4

i 20 32 22 7 38 19 17.5 25

Table 5: Measured experimental data for 60 inclined heater in Run 1

Run 2 (15/5/2012)
H 300 300 400 400 650 650 650 Tabs 67 65 68 64 67.5 71 70 Tg 49 47 49.5 47.5 48 49.5 50 Tf 51 48.5 51.5 48 50 51.5 52 U 0.22 0.24 0.27 0.31 0.45 0.57 0.37 Tf 5.5 4.5 5.5 5 4 8 4.5 i 9 8 9.5 8.5 7.5 11 8

Table 6: Measured experimental data for 30 inclined heater in Run 2

H 250 250 250 300 300 300 500 500 500 500

Tabs 57 55 57 57.5 54.5 56 60 59 60 58

Tg 48 46 47 48.5 45.5 46.5 49.5 49 50 48

Tf 46 44 46 45 43.5 47 46.5 46 47 45.5

U 0.72 0.71 0.42 0.68 0.64 0.51 0.63 0.48 0.46 0.43

Tf 5.5 5 6 5 4.5 6 6 5.5 7 4

i 82 80 48 65 58 39 35 22 20 18

Table 7: Measured experimental data for 45 inclined heater in Run 2