Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 9

Available online at www.sciencedirect.


Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 www.elsevier.com/locate/solener

Eciency factors of solar collectors of parallel plates for water

ngora-Gallardo, M. Castro-Gil, A. Colmenar-Santos , Mohamed Tawk G. Go
National University for Distance Education (UNED), Superior Technical School for Industrial Engineers, Juan del Rosal, 12, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain Received 30 September 2012; received in revised form 21 March 2013; accepted 13 May 2013 Available online 17 June 2013 Communicated by: Associate Editor C. Estrada-Gasca

Abstract In this paper, we derived the collector eciency factor, F0 , of two solar collectors of parallel plates for water, which is based on the eciency factors of air heaters. This solar collectors were built in the past but without considering their eciency factors. The eciency factors: F and F0 , correspond to the basic model of HottelWhillerBliss (widely adopted in the literature) and they are useful for simulating the behavior of solar collectors. Finally we assess the theoretical potential of parallel plates collectors; in this case, the parallel plates collector absorbent cover, is more ecient than the conventional one, assuming an application of a thermosyphon system with laminar velocity. 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Thermosyphon; Solar collector of parallel plates; Collector eciency factor

1. Introduction Prototypes of parallel plate solar collectors have been built, but there are no theoretical studies that allow to compare with conventional collectors for assess their potential, and this due to the lack of an eciency factor, F0 , that we will propose in this work for use with the model of analysis by HottelWhillerBliss. For a conventional collector, at steady state, the useful energy qu, of a collector area AA is the dierence between the absorbed solar radiation S = asGm, and the thermal loss, UL(Tpm Ta). qu S U L T pm T a 1:1

of the uid input temperature T, where the gradient is dened in one dimension along the temperature risers tubes, which facilitates the measurement. Thus, to redene the basic equation in terms of T, a factor is required to compensate, which is called heat removal factor FR = F0 F00 . In Eq. (1.2), the eciency factor F0 corresponds to the structural geometry of the collector (stable at low and medium temperatures) and the ow factor F00 depends _ , Eq. (1.3). on the ow rate m qu F 0 F 00 S U L T fi T a
_ p _ p =AA U L F 0 1 eAA U L F =mC F 00 mc

1:2 1:3

The mean plate temperature Tpm, can be theoretically calculated but its measurement is dicult to be realized because their temperature gradient is in two dimensions. A solution would be to put the above equation in terms
Corresponding author. Tel.: +34 913 986 476; fax: +34 913 986 028.

E-mail address: acolmenar@ieec.uned.es (A. Colmenar-Santos). 0038-092X/$ - see front matter 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2013.05.014

The collector eciency factor, F0 = RL/Ro = Uo/UL, indicates the proportion of the thermal resistance RL (heat loss from the absorber plate to the environment) with regarding to the thermal resistance Ro (heat loss from the working uid to the environment). Also, Due and Beckman (2006) dene it as follows: the collector eciency factor F0 is the ratio of the actual useful energy gain of a collector compared to the virtual useful energy gain that


ngora-Gallardo et al. / Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 G. Go

Nomenclature AA absorber overall area, m2 Cb bond conductance, W/m C cp specic heat capacity, J/kg C D, Di, DH external diameter, internal diameter of parallel tube, hydraulic diameter, m F n eciency factor F0 collector eciency factor F00 collector ow factor FR heat removal factor G, Gm solar radiation incident on absorber cover, maximum solar radiation, W/m2 g gravitational constant, m/s2 h height, m hn, hc, hr, hw heat transfer coecient: conduction, convection, radiation, from wind, W/m2 C h, h1, h2 heat transfer coecient inside: tube, absorbent cover, ooded plate, W/m2 C k thermal conductivity, W/m C j extinction coecient, m1 L length of collector, m N number of glass covers Pr Prandtl number _ ow rate, kg/s m n refractive index Nu Nusselt number qu heat useful gain, W/m2 would result if the collector absorbing surface had been at the local uid temperature. This statement is represented by Eq. (1.4), as follows: F0 saGm U L T pm T a saGm U L T fm T a 1:4 r Re S Tc, Tpm T, Tfo reectance of a surface Reynolds number absorbed solar radiation per unit area, W/m2 cover temperature, mean plate temperature, C uid input temperature, uid output temperature, C Tfm uid mean temperature, C U, UL, Ut coecients: heat loss, collector overall heat loss, top loss, W/m2 C W, w tube spacing, width of collector, m X, x distance plate to cover, duct height or separation between plates, m Greek letters a absorptance b collector tilt b0 volumetric coecient of expansion e, ep, ec emittance d absorber plate thickness, m gm collector eciency at midday l absolute viscosity, N s/m2 m kinematic viscosity, m2/s q reectance of transparent cover(s) r StefanBoltzmann constant s transmittance of transparent cover(s)

Several conventional geometries of at-plate solar collectors with tubes have appeared in the literature; among the most commons are tubes under a plate, as shown in Fig. 1. In this case, the eciency factor, F0 , is given in Eq. (1.5); the n factor, F, is given in Eq. (1.6), and the coecient of the total heat loss is UL = Ut + Ub + Ue. F0 W h 1=U L
1 C pD1i hfi b 1 U L DWDF

The main adapted geometries in this work are those used by two air heaters (Due and Beckman, 2006; ElSawi et al., 2010). The rst of these geometries consists of a glass cover (top) and then an absorber plate (with insulation), Fig. 2. The relevant parameters are UL, F0 and hr, and their equations are shown in: (1.7), (1.8), and (1.9), respectively: UL U b U t h1 h2 h1 hr h2 hr U b U t h1 h2 h1 hr h 2 U t h2 hr h1 h2 1:7 F0 h r h1 h2 U t h2 hr h1 h2 U t hr h1 U b h2 hr h2 r   2 r T2 p T c T p T c 1=e p 1=e g 1
Ut h1 p c

i with m



F tanhmW D=2=mW D=2; p U L =k d

hr 1:6


Ut Ub W D

Duct of Air Flow


Fig. 2. Solar air heater.

Fig. 1. Solar collector; tubes under a at plate.

ngora-Gallardo et al. / Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 G. Go


2.1. Solar collector absorbent cover type The eciency factor F0 , can be derived from the geometry of the air heater, as shown in Fig. 3 In this case, the n function F, is equal to 1. The radiation coecient hr of the heat loss between the two plates, with air as medium (or in vacuum), is calculated as shown in Eq. (1.9). If water is used instead, the value of this coecient hr is zero; now the heat is transferred only by the upper plate and the h2 coecient becomes zero, Fig. 3; then Eq. (1.11) becomes the following: F 0 1= 1 U L =h1 2:1

Fig. 3. Solar Collector; absorbent cover.

Fig. 4. Solar Collector; tubes on top of a plate.

The coecient h1 in Eq. (2.1) corresponds to the heat transfer between the absorbent plate and the liquid owing to the forced laminar ow (thermosyphon). Calculating the total heat loss UL to the environment requires knowing the mean uid temperature, Tfm, and calculating the mean temperature of the plate, Tpm. 2.2. Solar collector ooded plate type

Fig. 5. Solar Collector; tubes centered in the plate.

In the same way, with the use of liquid in the air heater, the coecient hr is eliminated (of Eqs. (1.7) and (1.8)), the heat is transferred only by the bottom plate and the h1 coecient becomes zero, Fig. 2, thus, the collector eciency factor F0 depends only of the terms: Ub and h2. U b U t h1 h2 U b U t h1 h2 =U t h2 h1 h2 Ub F0 U t h2 h1 h2 h2 U t h1 U t h1 U b h2 U t h1 U b h2 1 1 U b =h2 2:2

The second geometry, Fig. 3, consists of a transparent cover, a metallic absorber plate and a back cover with insulation; and their equations are shown in: (1.10), (1.11), and (1.9). U L U t U b U e F0 1 1h
UL 1 1 1 = h 1 = h r 2

1:10 1:11


Other collectors that will be discussed are: tubes on top of a plate, Fig. 4, Eqs. (1.12), (1.10), and (1.6), and tubes centered in the plate, Fig. 5, Eqs. (1.13), (1.10), and (1.6), which together with the collector with tubes under a plate, will be considered as conventional collectors. F0 F0 1
WU L pDi hfi 1 WU L =Cb W =WDF

The energy of the coecient h2, is transferred toward the uid for thermosyphon forced convection, and by natural convection generated by heating the absorber plate. The

1:12 1:13

WU L pDi hfi W DW D F

2. Derivation of the eciency factors of parallel plates collectors If the air, in the air heater, shown in Fig. 2 and 3, is replaced by liquid, the heater becomes a solar collector of parallel plates for water. In this work, we deal with two solar collector types: ooded plate and absorbent cover, respectively.

Fig. 6. Thermal network of a solar collector of ooded plate.


ngora-Gallardo et al. / Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 G. Go

The average Nusselt number for laminar ow in short ducts for parallel plates, one of them is insulated and the other has a constant wall temperature, was obtained by Mercer et al. (1967) with 0.1 < Pr < 10 (that includes uids) and their results are correlated as shown in Eq. (3.2):
Fig. 7. Solar collector; ooded plate.

N u 4: 9

0:0606Re P r DH =L1:2
:17 1 0:0909Re P r DH =L P 0 r 0:7


thermal circuit is reduced as shown in Fig. 6, which corresponds to the geometry of a solar collector, ooded plate type, Fig. 7.

3. Heat transfer coecients of parallel plates collectors: h1 and h2 When choosing a model of heat distribution for the wall of the at plate, which heats the uid, the solar collector model takes into account the relative value of the resistance to the heat loss to the environment (both from the working uid R0 and the absorber plate RL). If the thermal resistance R0 is large, then we assume a constant heat ux along the tube wall. Otherwise, if the resistance is small, we assume a constant temperature throughout the tube wall, Due and Beckman (2006). The theoretical behavior of a solar collector should match with one of these two conditions. However, in this work, we will consider the worst case, which is assuming a constant temperature in the tube wall. The laminar ow velocity depends on the Reynolds number. The Reynolds number is measured by forced convection (thermosyphon), which, in our case, is due to the dierence in uid density between the storage tank and the collector. For very long ducts, where the aspect ratio to the input is very large, hydrodynamic eects are not important; thus, the Nusselt number Nu is dened analytically in the ducts of any cross section. Analytical values could be used to dene the Nusselt number of the previous heat transfer coecients. However, the solar collectors in houses are short and the hydrodynamic eects of the uid in the entry increase the value of the coecient h = Nuk/D. The average Nusselt number for short tubes (L) and constant wall temperatures, as reported by Rohsenow and Choi (1961), is obtained from Eq. (3.1), with the constants in Table 1 and N 1 u 3:7: Nu N1 u aRe P r DH =L

This Nusselt number, Nu, can be useful for both types of parallel plates collectors. However, the collectors with a ooded plate could transfer heat to the uid in other ways owing to the natural convection that occurs between the two plates: one of the plates is heated from below, as in Eq. (3.3), and as reported by Kreith and Bohn (2001), with the critical Rayleigh number (Ra $ 1700), until it reaches 3.5 106. In Eq. (3.3), the asterisk indicates that the term with a negative number will be zero: N u 1 1:441 1708=Ra Ra =5830 p 2 3 Ra =140


If the Rayleigh number Ra is less than 1700, the heat transfer is conductive, and the coecients of heat transfer to the uid should be approximately equal for both geometries (h1 % h2). This scenario depends on the temperature dierence between the two plates and on the separation between them. However, in the case that a heat transfer exists by natural convection the hydrodynamic boundary layer at the entrance of the plates is reduced and then will increase the heat transfer for thermosyphon (thus, the coefcient value of ooded plate collector could be greater than the coecient, h1, absorbent cover collector: h2 > h1). Unfortunately for ooded plate collector there are no research that correlates to the sum of these two processes: natural convection and forced convection (thermosyphon). However Kreith and Bohn (2001) suggests calculating the convection coecients separately and using the greatest value. This rule is estimated to have a deviation of 25% but nally has little involvement in the total gain of the collector. 4. Method used for comparison of solar collectors To obtain the total heat loss, UL (and Ut), in each collector with regarding to the model of HottelWhillerBliss (Hottel and Woertz, 1942; Hottel and Whillier, 1958; Bliss, 1959) we used an interactive method (Due and Beckman, 2006), which we have extended to obtain the ow velocity _ (using a much simpler approach). Close (1962) observed m that under wide ranges of conditions, the increase in the temperature of the water owing in natural circulation systems is DT = Tfo T % 10 C. With the above (and by using an electronic spreadsheet) we applied interactive steps 122 in Appendix B, for obtaining the temperatures: Tfm, Tpm, and the factors F0 , with Eqs. (1.5), (1.12), (1.13), (2.1), and (2.3). We also used Eq. (B.1) alternatively for

1 b Re P r D H = L h


Table 1 Constants for Eq. (3.2) for calculation of average Nu for circular tubes. Prandtl number 0.7 5 1 a 0.0791 0.0534 0.0461 b 0.0331 0.0335 0.0316 m 1.15 1.15 1.15 h 0.82 0.82 0.84

ngora-Gallardo et al. / Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 G. Go


obtain Ut and then compared it with the proposed interactive method. The general parameters that are used for thermosyphon solar collectors in our example are the following: absorber area AA = 2 m2; with a collector tilt of b = 32.5; one glass sheet cover (thickness E = 4 mm and conductance k = 1 W/m C); maximum irradiance at midday Gm = 800 W/m2, wind speed = 4.7 m/s; and ambient temperature Ta = 20 C. The properties of water are Pr, k, m, l, b0 at the average temperature of the uid, Tfm. The insulation of mineral wool k = 0.043 W/m C, thickness 7.5 cm on the back (Ub = 5.733 W/m2 C) and the edges (Ue = 0.129 W/m2 C); absorptivity a = 0.95; absorber plate thickness d = 0.00071 m, plate copper thermal conductivity k = 385 W/m C, and spacing plate to cover X = 0.0121 m; transmittance glass cover s = 0.9084 and emittance eg = 0.88. For the conventional collectors type, the parameters are as follows: length L = 2 m and width W = 1 m, selective absorber plate 0.19; bond conductance Cb = 800 W/m C; separation between the tubes W = 0.14285 m, with outer diameter D = 1.27 cm (internal diameter Di = 1.143 cm). For parallel plates collectors: length L = 1 m and width W = 2 m, separation between plates (height of the duct) is x = 0.005 m. For the absorbent cover type collector: selective absorber plate 0.19. For the ooded plate type collector: Acrylic inner cover, thickness E = 0.006 m (refractive index of acrylic = 1.495, extinction coecient = 1.5 m, refractive index of water = 1.333), emittance = 0.9, total transmittance s = 0.864 (glassairacrylicwater). The selectivity is impossible in the absorbing plate due to water on its absorbent surface. 5. Results and discussion We obtained the values of Table 2, where it can be seen that the ooded plate has a collector eciency factor F0 that is higher than that of the other solar collectors, because the dierence in temperature (Tpm Tfm) is the smallest of the ve collectors. And then the ratio of Eq. (1.4) is close to one; however, its useful gain, qu, is lower because its transmittanceabsorptance product sa was lower (as a result of having two transparent covers). Its total top heat loss, Ut, is higher (because the absorbing plate has no selectivity). The average temperature of the uid Tfm is very similar for the ve collectors, but the best gain of useful energy qu

occurs in the absorbent cover type, because it transports _. more heat owing to its higher uid velocity m The highest average temperatures Tpm, of plate are in the conventional solar collectors; but, increasing the temperature of the absorber plate increases the losses to the environment and hence reduces the eciency (Sekhar et al., 2009; Esen and Esen, 2005). The temperature dierence (Tpm Tfm) between the absorber plate and the uid temperature were higher in the conventional solar collectors because of its path of heat dissipation through the n (Ghamari and Worth, 1992). In parallel plates collectors, the previous values are close to each other because they do not have the n. Moreover, the dierence is less in the ooded plate type collector, owing to the heat from the absorber plate is used by the uid before it is lost through the transparent covers (for the absorbent cover type collector, rst the head is lost in absorber). We veried that if we substitute: Tfm, Tpm, and UL (shown in Table 2) and the parameters of each collector: a, s, Gm and Ta, in the basic denition of eciency, Eq. (1.4) the values obtained of collector eciency factors: F 0conventionals 0:920, F 0flooded plate 0:9982, and 0 F absorbent cover 0:9875, are the same as obtained by Eqs. (1.5), (1.12), (1.13), (2.1), and (2.3). Finally we check the validity of the basic equations of useful heat: Eqs. (1.1) and (1.2), by substituting the values obtained by our iterative method, in Table 2, and T = Tfm DT/2, with DT % 10 C; and then we got exactly the same values. With the above check it is sucient to validate the proposal in order to replace hr = 0 in Eqs. (1.8) and (1.11). Even more, in another study, Rommel and Moock (1997), the researchers developed Eqs. (5.1) and (5.2), to nd the eciency factor F0 for a solar collector for water with laminar ow, similar to the absorbent cover type. F0 and, c saGm U t T pm T a saGm U L T pm T a 5:2 1 1 hU L =k c 9=35 5:1

To verify that the above equations are consistent with the results obtained by our team, we take the values of Table 2, from the absorbent cover collector, and substitute it into Eq. (5.1), with h = (duct height, x)/2 and the uid

Table 2 Values obtained by four iterations (at midday, irradiance Gm = 800 W/m2). Collector Tubes under a plate Tubes top a plate Tubes centered in plate Absorbent cover Flooded plate UL (W/m2 C) 4.3428 4.3422 4.3391 4.0035 5.5405 Ut (W/m2 C) 3.6405 3.6398 3.6367 3.3012 4.8382 Coecient (W/m2 C) h = 262.880 h = 262.889 h = 262.931 h1 = 317.846 h2 = 324.037 qu (W/m2) 557.57 557.66 558.08 605.28 543.46 F0 0.9201 0.9202 0.9208 0.9875 0.9982 FR 0.8879 0.8880 0.8886 0.9559 0.9491 Tfm (C) 39.44 39.44 39.44 39.35 40.34 Tpm (C) 50.58 50.56 50.49 41.26 40.51 _ (kg/s) m 0.0267 0.0267 0.0267 0.0289 0.0260


ngora-Gallardo et al. / Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 G. Go

Selectivity of absorber plate

5.0 625

Irradiance: 800 W/m2

4.5 4.00350 620 615

Axis of F' & UL (W /m2 C)

4.0 3.5 3.0


Axis of qu (W /m2)

610 605
5. 28 0




2.5 2.0
0. 98

600 595
61 0.

Fig. 8. Thermal circuit for conventional and absorbent solar collectors.

0.990 0.985



Irradiance: 800 W/m2

610 600 590 580 570 0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0

1.0 0.5 0.05 0.07 0.11 0.13 0.15 0.19 0.21 0.23 0.26


Efficiency vs height of duct, x


590 585 580

Axis of efficincy, F '

0.980 0.975 0.970 0.965 0.960 0.955 0.950


Axis of qu (W /m2)






Fig. 11. Graph of selectivity vs eciency, at solar noon.

Height, x (mm)



Fig. 9. Graph of height of duct vs eciency, at solar noon.

Spacing of transparent cover, X

0 60 5. 28

20 18

700 600

16 14 12 10 8
4. 00

Irradiance: 800 W/m2

400 300
35 0

6 4 2

200 100 0



the eciency coecient F0 , and the heat useful gain qu, for spacings of x. The dependence of the factor F0 to the coecient UL, Eq. (2.1), Fig. 8, is based on the coecients: convective hc, and radiation hr, respectively. But does not rely on them, therefore, they can be analyzed separately. In the case of the coecient, hc, the spacing X, between plates (absorbent and transparent) aects the heat useful gain qu. Using our model, we obtain Fig. 10. When the separation is smaller than X = 0.01 m, it shows a great total heat loss, UL, due to air conductive behavior. The convective eect is obtained for values of X > 0.01 m. Note the reduction of heat loss for values >0.035 m, but beyond this value the cost of the collector should be considered. In our case we have taken the value X = 0.0121 m. By selecting a suitable value of the coecient of convective loss, hc, we analyzed the dependence of radiation coefcient, 1/hr,pc1, compared to the selectivity of the absorber plate ep, Fig. 11. It is noted that the heat useful gain qu, increases with decrease in the emittance (from 0.3 to 0.05), and the eciency factor F0 is kept almost constant (from 0.9896 to 0.9861). 6. Conclusions The collector eciency factors, that are proposed in Eqs. (2.1) and (2.3), can be used to model solar collectors of parallel plates for laminar uid velocities. The eciency factor for solar collectors of parallel plates, especially for the absorbent cover type, shows that in theory it performs better than the conventional collectors. The equations for the parallel plates collectors (2.1) and (2.3) are independent from the absorber plate thickness, d, making it unnecessarily worry about the thicken of the plate (Shariah et al., 1999; Kundu, 2002) and being able to build absorbers thinner and cheaper. However, the

Axis of F ' & UL (W /m2 C)

Axis of qu (W /m2)

0 8.0 8.1 8.3 8.5 9.0 10 11 12.1 14 17 21 27 33 41 51

0. 98


Spacing, X (mm)




Fig. 10. Graph of spacing of transparent cover vs eciency, at solar noon.

thermal conductivity k = 0.633 W/m C at 40 C, and obtained a value of F0 = 0.9880, almost the same value of 0.9875 is obtained by the iterative method. Considering the absorbent cover type as the best of all collectors, need to evaluate the dependence of the eciency factor, F0 , with respect to: UL and h1, Eq. (2.1). This latter is geometrically aected by the hydraulic diameter DH (and this by the height of the duct x) but it must comply with the restriction of short duct length L, in Eq. (3.2), with L < 100 DH. This is accomplished with x > 0.005 m. Fig. 9 shows

ngora-Gallardo et al. / Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 G. Go


height of the water column of storage tank could warp structure of parallel plates collectors. The building these collectors, with the aim of preventing warping, could use an array of rectangular ducts with thin walls among themselves to maintain a value of n factor F close to one. In the case of ooded plate type solar collector, using a sheet of transparent acrylic to cover the uid yields a heat useful gain at midday of qu = 543 W/m2. This value is very close to the values for the conventional collectors: qu % 557 W/m2 with a selectivity of 0.19 for its absorbent plate. However, because the absorber plate is not selective, the ooded plate type can be built very cheaper made from polymers. For the absorbent cover type, we obtained the eciency factor, F0 , by a value rounded to 0.98 for values of duct height x, between 0.005 and 0.008 m. However, the model do not denes F0 , for values of x < 0.005 m, due to the restriction of L < 100 Dh for our particular example. Appendix A. Transmittance of transparent covers The outer transparent covers for the ve collectors are proposed with glass, with a thickness E = 4 mm, refractive index n = 1.5 and extinction coecient k = 4 m. The formulas for its transmittance s are taken from Due and Beckman (2006). Adapting them to beam incident angles h = 0 (at solar noon). Reectance is r(0) = (n 1/n + 1)2, and transmittance due to its reective properties is sr(0) = (1 r)/(1 + r). The transmittance due to its attenuation is sa = exp(kE); the transmittance of the transparent cover is s1 % sr(0) sa; and its reectance is q1 % sa s1. In the case of ooded plate type, in addition to the outer transparent cover, we propose in the inner cover, an acrylic E = 6 mm, with extinction coecient k = 1.5 m and refractive index n1 = 1.495; in this case the reectance is r1(0) = (n1 1/n1 + 1)2 and, with the interface with water, n2 = 1.333, the reectance is r2(0) = (n1 n2/n1 + n2)2. The transmittance of exclusively reective properties for three medias was obtained, in this work, using the ray-tracing techniques. The equation is: sr(0) = (1 r1)(1 r2)/ (1 r1r2), where r1 is the airacrylic reectance, and r2 is the acrylic-water reectance. The transmittance due to its attenuation properties is sa = exp(kE); the transmittance of the transparent cover is s2 % sr(0) sa; and the reectance is q2 % sa s2. Finally the total transmittance in a two transparent covers when they are dierent; we use the following equation for a incidence angle of zero degrees. ! s1 s2 s0 1 q1 q2 Appendix B. Iterative calculation of parameters from the collectors Notes: We use an iterative calculation, Due and Beckman (2006), to assess the total heat loss UL = Ut + Ue +

Ub, pp. 244245, but we have modied to extend it to cal_ , pp. 495497; however, according to culate the ow rate m Due and Beckman (2006), Klein developed a empirical equation for calculating the top heat loss coecient (Ut). The result can serve to validate the application of the iterative calculation procedure. 2 3 1 N 1 5 i Ut 4 h T pm T a C dhw
T pm

  2 rT pm T a T 2 pm T a
2Nf10:133ep eg


1 ep 0:00591Nhw


f 1 0:089hw 0:1166hw ep 1 0:07866N C 5201 0:000051b2 for 0 < b < 70 ; for 70 < b < 90 ; use b 70 d 0:4301 100=T pm The calculation of Ut, with the above equation for the conventional at-plate collector is: 3.5817 W/m2 C, which is very close to the value of 3.6405 W/m2 C obtained by the iterative method in Table 2. Unfortunately, in the literature there is not found experimental results with the dimensions and parameters of the solar collector that is presented here to compare the eciency factor F0 (for example for conventional collector: tubes under the plate), but fortunately, Due and Beckman (2006), pp. 261263, have developed a family of graphs to assess the coecient F0 in function of: overall heat loss UL, heat transfer coecient inside tube h, tube spacing W, and the product kd (plate copper thermal conductivity and its thickness); which in our example and using the iterative model, but with values easily located in the graphs, are: UL = 4.00 W/m C, h = 300.00 W/ m C, W = 0.1 m and kd = 0.1 W/C; we obtained an eciency factor of F0 = 0.9367, that is a good approximate value in the graphs. Iterative model: At the beginning of the interactive cal_ , the plate temculation, are unknown: the uid velocity m peratures Tpm, and transparent covers, Tc1 and Tc2. With the iterative method, for collectors types: absorbent cover and conventional, Fig. 8, is necessary to make a rst estimation of the plate mean temperature, Tpm. Using Tfm = 40 C, DT % 10 C, T = Tfm DT/2, Tpm = T + DT + 10 C, and temperature of transparent cover Tc1 = (Tpm + Ta)(1/2). To calculate the coecients: h, h1 and h2, an initial estimate of the typical uid velocity (for the ve thermosyphon _ 0:03 kg=s (AA = 2 m2). For collectors) is made with m the conventional collectors, the Reynolds number Re is cal_ divided by the number culated with the velocity of uid m of collector tubes (w = with of collector)/(W = tube spacing). In the case of the ooded plate type (Fig. 7), an initial estimate: Tfm = 40 C, Tpm % Tfm, Tc1 = Tfm 1 and Tc2 = (Tc1 + Ta)(1/2). The separation in the duct is


ngora-Gallardo et al. / Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 G. Go

x = 5 mm (as well for the absorbent cover type) and therefore the heat transfer is only conductive in Eq. (3.3) and h1 % h2. 1. For conventional collectors type, Eq. (3.1) is applied to obtain the Nusselt number, Nu, with _ W =w=pD l. Then, h = Nuk/D, with the Re 4 m thermal conductivity of water k at Tfm. While, in the case of the parallel plates collector, Eq. (3.2) is applied to obtain the Nusselt number, with _ =W l and W as the collector width. Then, Re 2 m calculate h1 % h2 = Nuk/DH and with, DH, the hydraulic diameter. 2. The coecient of convection between the absorber plate and the rst transparent cover is hc,pc1, with DTpmc1 = (Tpm Tc1), air temperature Tair = (Tpm + Tc1)/2 and air parameters: k, b0 , m and Pr @ Tair. The number of Rayleigh Ra = (gb0 X3 DTpmc1Pr) /m2 and, therefore, the Nusselt number Nu, for a collector inclination b = 32.5, Nu = 1 + 1.44[1 1708/ Ra cos b] [1 1708(sin 1.8b)^1.6/Ra cos b] + [(Ra = cos b/5830) 3 1]*. Therefore, hc,pc1 = Nuk/X. But for the ooded plate type, the coecient hc,c1c2 should be calculated, with DTc1c2 = (Tc1 Tc2) and Tair = (Tc1 + Tc2)/2. 3. The coecient of radiation transfer between the absorber plate and the rst transparent cover is hr,pc1, with the average air temperature Tair = (Tpm + Tc1)/2 and the emissivities, ep and  eg, of the 




2 hr;pc1 r T 2 p Tc





T p T c =1=ep 1=eg 1. But for the ooded plate type, the coecient hr,c1c2 should be calculated, with Tair = (Tc1 + Tc2)/2. The conductive coecient in the glass covers is hn,c1 = k/E. But for the ooded plate type, the rst cover (acrylic) corresponds to hn,c1 = k/E, and the second cover (glass) corresponds to hn,c2 = k/E. The convective heat transfer coecient of the wind, between the rst transparent cover and the ambient is hw = hc,c1s = 5.7 + 3.8 (wind speed = 4.47 m/s). But for the ooded plate type, the coecient hw = hc,c2s should be calculated. The radiation transfer coecient, hr,c1s, between the rst transparent cover and the sky; assuming, with little error, that the sky temperature, Ts, is equal to the ambient temperature Ta. hr;c1s ec r T c 12 T 2 s T c1 T s . But for the plate type, the coe ooded2 cient hr hc;c2s ec r T 2 T c2 s T c2 T s should be calculated. The heat loss through the top, Ut, for the absorbent cover type, as well as for the conventional type, is Ut = 1/[1/(hc,pc1 + hr,pc1) + 1/hn,c1 + 1/(hw + hr,c1s)], but for the ooded plate type is Ut = 1/[1/hn,c1 + 1/ (hc,c1c2 + hr,c1c2) + 1/hn,c2 + 1/(hw + hr,c2s)].

8. The coecient of conductivity of the back of each solar collector is Ub = k/E, where E is the thickness and k is the thermal coecient of mineral wool. 9. The calculation of heat loss through the edge of the collectors is Ue = (k/Ec)Ae/AA, where k is the thermal conductivity of the insulation, and the area Ae = (perimeter of the sides = 6 m) (collector thickness = 10 cm), where AA = absorber area and Ec = edge insulation thickness = 0.075 m. 10. The total heat loss of each solar collector is UL = Ut + Ue + Ub. For the ooded plate type, UL is obtained using Fig. 6, and for the rest of solar collectors, Fig. 8. 11. The functions F, F0 are calculated according to the type of collector. 12. The solar energy in the absorber is S = asGm (calculating the transmittance s will be according to the type of collector as described in Appendix A). 13. The uid input temperature: T = Tfm DT/2, with DT % 10 C. _ 14. The recalculation of ow velocity is m U L F 0 AA =cp lnf1 U L DT =S U L T fi T a g; with cp @ Tfm and DT % 10 C, and its value is used in the next iteration. 15. The ow factor is obtained by applying 0 _ Cp _ p =AA U L F 0 1 eAA U L F =m F 00 mc . 16. The collector heat removal factor is FR = F0 F00 . 17. The useful heat gain is qu = FR(S UL(T Ta)). 18. The collector maximum eciency at midday is gm = qu/Gm. 19. The recalculation of the mean uid temperature is 00 T fm T fi qu 1 F =F R U L , and its value is used in the next iteration. 20. The recalculation of the average temperature of the plate is T p m T fi qu 1 F R =F R U L , and its value is used in the next iteration. 21. The recalculation of the temperature of the transparent cover is T c1 T pm U t T pm T a 1=hc;pc1 hr;pc1 ; but in the case of the ooded plate type, they must be: T c1 T fm U t T fm T a 1=hn;c1 and T T c1 U t T fm T a 1= c2 hc;c12 hr;c1c2 . 22. If jT pm T pm j is less than a convergence value, return to step 1 and perform a new iteration; otherwise, the results are presented in Table 2 (with four iterations). References
Bliss Jr., R.W., 1959. The derivation of several plate eciency factors useful in the design of at-plate solar collectors. Solar Energy 3, 5564. Close, D.J., 1962. The performance of solar water heaters with natural circulations. Solar Energy 6, 3340. Due, J.A., Beckman, W.A., 2006. Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons, New York. El-Sawi, A.M. et al., 2010. Application of folded sheet metal in at bed solar air collectors. Applied Thermal Engineering 30, 864871.

ngora-Gallardo et al. / Solar Energy 94 (2013) 335343 G. Go Esen, M., Esen, H., 2005. Experimental investigation of a two-phase closed thermosyphon solar water heater. Solar Energy 79, 459468. Ghamari, D.M., Worth, R.A., 1992. The eect of tube spacing on the costeectiveness of a at-plate solar collector. Renewable Energy 2, 603606. Hottel, H.C., Whillier, A., 1958. Evaluation of at-plate solar collector performance. In: Transactions of the Conference on the use of Solar Energy Thermal Processes, vol. 2, pp. 74104. Hottel, H.C., Woertz, B.B., 1942. The performance of at-plate solar-heat collectors. ASME Transactions 64, 91104. Kreith, F., Bohn, M.S., 2001. Principles of Heat Transfer, 6th ed. Brooks/ Cole, USA. Kundu, B., 2002. Performance analysis and optimization of absorber plates of dierent geometry for a at-plate solar collector: a comparative study. Applied Thermal Engineering 22, 9991012.


Mercer, W.E. et al., 1967. Laminar forced convection in the entrance region between parallel at plates. ASME Transactions on Journal of Heat Transfer 89, 251. Rohsenow, W.M., Choi, H., 1961. Heat Mass and Momentum Transfer. Prentice-Hall, NJ. Rommel, M., Moock, W., 1997. Collector eciency factor F0 for absorbers with rectangular uid ducts contacting the entire surface. Solar Energy 60, 199207. Sekhar, Y.R. et al., 2009. Evaluation of heat loss coecients in solar at plate collectors. ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences 4, 1519. Shariah, A.M. et al., 1999. Eect of thermal conductivity of absorber plate on the performance of a solar water heater. Applied Thermal Engineering 19, 733741.