Thermal performance and entropy generation analysis of a high concentration ratio parabolic trough solar collector with Cu-Therminol®VP-1 nanofluid

Aggrey Mwesigye, Zhongjie Huan, Josua P. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents results of a numerical study on the thermal and thermodynamic performance of a high concentration ratio parabolic trough solar collector using Cu-Therminol®VP-1 nanofluid as the heat transfer fluid. A parabolic trough system with a concentration ratio of 113 and a rim angle of 80° has been used in this study. The thermal physical properties of both the base fluid and the copper nanoparticles have been considered temperature dependent. Inlet temperatures in the range 350-650 K and flow rates in the range 1.22-135 m3 h-1 have been used. The numerical analysis consisted of combined Monte-Carlo ray tracing and computational fluid dynamics procedures. The Monte-Carlo ray tracing procedure is used to obtain the actual heat flux profile on the receiver's absorber tube, which is later coupled to a finite volume based computational fluid dynamics tool to evaluate the thermal and thermodynamic performance of the receiver. Results show that the thermal performance of the receiver improves as the nanoparticle volume fraction increases. The thermal efficiency of the system increases by about 12.5% as the nanoparticle volume fraction in the base fluid increase from 0% to 6%. The entropy generation rates in the receiver reduce as the nanoparticle volume fraction increases for some range of Reynolds numbers. Above a certain Reynolds number, further increase in the Reynolds numbers makes the entropy generation higher than that of a receiver with only the base fluid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-465
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Volume120
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support received from the University of the Witwatersrand , Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria is duly acknowledged and appreciated. The funding received from the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Translational Engineering Skills Programme (TESP), Stellenbosch University , the South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI)/ South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) at the University of Pretoria, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Energy-efficiency and Demand-side Management (EEDSM) Hub and NAC is also duly acknowledged and appreciated.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • Concentration ratio
  • Entropy generation
  • Nanofluid
  • Parabolic trough receiver
  • Thermal efficiency

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