Predictive Thermal Modeling and 3E Analysis of Solar Water Heating Systems: Employing A Hybrid Lattice Boltzmann Based Method and Experimental Investigation
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Today, solar energy is one of the most prevalent forms of renewable energy being used and will come to play one of the most significant roles in meeting future energy demands, which is expected to increase to 34000 PJ by 2031. Solar thermal collectors (STCs) are technologies which convert the sun’s radiation into thermal energy for the end user. A variety of these devices are used to meet thermal energy needs, worldwide. Among the various solar thermal devices currently available, evacuated tube solar collectors (ETCs) comprise most of the installed capacity for the application in solar water heating (SWH) systems. Several factors including the collectors’ ability to passively track the sun during operation time, significant reduction of heat loss to the ambient due to the vacuum layer between the inner and outer tubes, and low maintenance costs have contributed to the prominent role that ETCs have in meeting solar hot water demand. The shortcomings of existing numerical approaches, employed for simulating ETC behavior include: (a) computational intensity of direct numerical simulation models and (b) lack of resolution of 1D and dynamic models. Therefore, in this study: First, a novel method of resistance network based proper orthogonal decomposition (RNPOD) is presented which can not only consider the geographical and meteorological characteristics of the ambient surroundings, but also take into account the peripheral temperature distribution of a single ETC during daytime operation. Second, after successfully validating the proposed model with existing experimental results, a hybrid computational fluid dynamics model is proposed that can accommodate the collectors’ behavior during night-time operation. In addition, this numerical model will be further augmented so as to be able to account for the addition of phase change material within the ETC. Finally, it is proposed that an experimental study be conducted on incorporating reflectors for increasing the thermal output of ETCs.
Table of Contents
Novel proper orthogonal decomposition based resistance network model for daytime operation of solar collector -- Numerical modeling and experimental cross-validation of a solar thermal collector through an innovative hybrid CFD model -- Melting behavior prediction of latent heat storage material: a multi-pronged solution -- 3E evaluation of a solar thermal collector with compound parabolic reflector: a case study in midwest region -- Conclusion -- Future work
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)