A numerical model for optimal receiver array and mass flow rate in residential solar water heating systems

Rigardt Alfred Maarten Coetzee, Aggrey Mwesigye, Zhongjie Huan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, the performance of a pressurised evacuated tube solar collector system using internal heat pipes is presented. The system was optimised for the seasonal supply of hot service water for residential use in Pretoria, South Africa. The prediction of seasonal hourly performance trends along with the maximum thermal performance at the optimal receiver array and manifold mass flow rate was of major concern in this investigation. A mathematical model representing the thermal performance of the system was developed and numerically implemented in Engineering Equation Solver. The dynamic performance of collectors with 15, 20 and 25 tubes was determined throughout all the seasons. Moreover, the performance of the residential solar water heating system with a 20-tube collector was investigated in detail for mass flow rates of 0.03, 0.05 and 0.07 kg/s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)902-918
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Energy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 21 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support received from the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, is duly acknowledged and appreciated. The support received from the National Research Foundation (South Africa) is also duly acknowledged and appreciated. We appreciated the South African Weather Service (SAWS) for providing the data used in this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Solar thermal
  • evacuated tube collectors
  • heat pipe
  • manifold mass flow rate
  • receiver array
  • solar water heating


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