Enhancing the overall thermal performance of a large aperture parabolic trough solar collector using wire coil inserts

İbrahim Halil Yılmaz, Aggrey Mwesigye, Taha Tuna Göksu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the use of large apertures (higher concentration ratios) in parabolic trough solar collectors, increased temperature gradients, increased heat losses and increased heat transfer irreversibilities become inevitable. As such, means of reducing the magnitude of these operating parameters to enhance the overall thermal and thermodynamic performances become crucial. In this study, the use of wire coil inserts in the receiver's absorber tube to improve the parabolic trough solar collector's performance and to lessen the associated temperature gradients is presented. The parabolic trough solar collector having an aperture width of 9 m and a rim angle of 80° was modeled. Using Monte-Carlo ray tracing, the realistic heat flux profile on the receiver's absorber tube was obtained. The resulting non-uniform heat flux profile was later coupled to a finite volume based computational fluid dynamics model. The working fluid properties were considered to be temperature-dependent. The wire coil inserts with a pitch of 0.076, 0.114 and 0.152 m and widths of 0.03, 0.033 and 0.036 m were examined in this study. The wire coil has a triangular cross-section of 0.0076 m in size. Results show significant improvements in receiver thermal performance with the use of wire coil inserts owing to the improved fluid mixing, disruption of the thermal boundary layer and reduction in the absorber tube temperatures. The heat transfer performance is increased up to 183% whereas the thermal efficiency improves between 0.4 and 1.4% when the flow rate is below 13 m3/h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100696
JournalSustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Mwesigye acknowledges the support received from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth, United States. Dr. Y?lmaz acknowledges the support received from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Adana Alparslan T?rke? Science and Technology University, Turkey.

Funding Information:
Dr. Mwesigye acknowledges the support received from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth, United States . Dr. Yılmaz acknowledges the support received from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Adana Alparslan Türkeş Science and Technology University, Turkey .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Entropy generation
  • Parabolic trough receiver
  • Temperature gradient
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Thermal performance
  • Wire coil insert

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