A Solar Volumetric Receiver: Influence of Absorbing Cells Configuration on Device Thermal Performance
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Thermal performance of a solar volumetric receiver incorporating the different cell geometric configurations is investigated. Triangular, hexagonal, and rectangular absorbing cells are incorporated in the analysis. The fluid volume fraction, which is the ratio of the volume of the working fluid over the total volume of solar volumetric receiver, is introduced to assess the effect of cell size on the heat transfer rates in the receiver. In this case, reducing the fluid volume fraction corresponds to increasing cell size in the receiver. SiC is considered as the cell material, and air is used as the working fluid in the receiver. The Lambert’s Beer law is incorporated to account for the solar absorption in the receiver. A finite element method is used to solve the governing equation of flow and heat transfer. It is found that the fluid volume fraction has significant effect on the flow field in the solar volumetric receiver, which also modifies thermal field in the working fluid. The triangular absorbing cell gives rise to improved effectiveness of the receiver and then follows the hexagonal and rectangular cells. The second law efficiency of the receiver remains high when hexagonal cells are used. This occurs for the fluid volume fraction ratio of 0.5.
KeywordsAbsorbing cells Solar volumetric receiver Thermal performance
The authors acknowledge the funded NSTIP project 13-ENE271-04-R via support of KACST and the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, for this work.
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