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Use of innovative Compound Parabolic Collectors for hot water production in a pilot brine treatment system installed in Tinos

D. Xevgenos*, A. Vasilopoulos, M. Loizidou1
Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece. *Department of Chemical Engineer , National Technical University of Athens, Zografou Campus, GR-15773, Athens, Greece (E-mail: d.xevgenos@gmail.com )

Introduction Solar water heating can provide low-carbon emission energy from solar resources. Static solar thermal collectors have been widely used for hot water production, but restrictive factors such as low energy density and subsequent low energy yield and large area requirements, limit their application for domestic and not industrial purposes. These constraints can be resolved through the use of concentrating collectors which allow high energy yields, but with higher capital expenditure.

Scope of the study The main objective of this study is to present the characteristics of an innovative solar thermal collector which combines both better performance and operation simplicity. These collectors comprise a special design of compound parabolic collector (CPC) type (Greek patent). A solar field of approximately 40m2 has been installed and is being operated and tested under real climatic conditions for the purposes of the approved European project with the acronym SOL-BRINE.

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Figure 1 : Pilot brine treatment system and innovative solar field installed at the Agios Fokas desalination plant, in Tinos Island

The SOL-BRINE prototype system & the results from its operation In the framework of the SOL-BRINE project, a prototype system was installed at the region of an existing desalination plant on Tinos Island. The purpose of the pilot system was to demonstrate an innovative technique to treat and eliminate the brine produced from desalination plants, using evaporation technology, while achieving energy autonomous operation. The latter implies that the installed solar field will deliver 100% of the thermal energy requirements (nominal capacity: 10 kW, hot water at 70oC). A software tool (TRNSYS) is being developed for the simulation of the system operation and will be validated with real experimental data. The system is being monitored through instrumentation installed on site. The results from the operation of the system are presented in the following figure.

Figure 2 : Measurements from the prototype brine treatment system. Coupling between the solar system the vacuum evaporation technology

The authors would like to express appreciation for the support of the European financial tool for the environment LIFE+