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Experimental investigation of solar water heater integrated with a nanocomposite phase change material

Energetic and exergetic approach
  • P. Manoj Kumar
  • K. Mylsamy
Article
  • 10 Downloads

Abstract

This present work contributes to the improvement in thermal energy storage capacity of an all-glass evacuated tube solar water heater by integrating it with a phase change material (PCM) and with a nanocomposite phase change material (NCPCM). Paraffin wax as PCM and a nanocomposite of paraffin wax with 1.0 mass% SiO2 nanoparticles as NCPCM had been used during the experiments. The results were acquired through the real-time experimental measurements on the all-glass evacuated tube solar water heater integrated with built-in thermal energy storage, functioning under thermosyphonic flow. Three different cases, namely, without PCM, with PCM, and with NCPCM, were considered. The testing procedure involved the observation of total temperature variation in the tank water from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 a.m. of next morning. Meanwhile, the water was completely renewed for every 12 h. The system performance was studied using energy efficiency, exergy efficiency, and temperature of hot water supply during the next morning, for all the three cases. The investigation exemplifies that the tank water temperature at 6.00 a.m. after one complete day of operation was notably improved to 37 °C and 39.6 °C, respectively, with PCM and NCPCM, whereas it was 33.1 °C for the case without PCM. The energy efficiencies for the three cases were found to be 58.74%, 69.62%, and 74.79%, respectively, and exergy efficiencies of the system were determined as 19.6%, 22.0%, and 24.6%, respectively, for without PCM, with PCM, and with NCPCM. Also, it was evidenced that the thermal conductivity of paraffin wax was considerably increased to 22.78% through the diffusion of SiO2 nanoparticles. Put together, this indicates that the incorporation of PCM and explicitly the dispersion of SiO2 nanoparticles in NCPCM had been significantly improved the thermal performance of the system.

Keywords

PCM Nanocomposite PCM SiO2 nanoparticles Evacuated tube solar collector Energy efficiency Exergy efficiency 

List of symbols

Ac

Area of the collector (m2)

Cp,w

Specific heat of water (kJ kg−1 K−1)

Cp,pcm

Specific heat of PCM (kJ kg−1 K−1)

am

Melting mass fraction of PCM (%)

Exin

Exergy received by the collector (kJ)

Expcm

Exergy of PCM (kJ)

Exw

Exergy of water (kJ)

Ht

Daily total solar radiation (kJ m−2)

İ

Instantaneous solar radiation (Wm−2)

It,b

Beam radiations directly captured by the collector tubes per unit area (Wm−2)

It,d

Sky diffuse radiations directly captured by the collector tubes per unit area (Wm−2)

Id,β

Sky diffuse radiation (Wm−2)

N

Number of evacuated tubes

L

Length of evacuated tube (m)

D

Diameter of evacuated tube (m)

mw

Mass of water (kg)

mpcm

Mass of PCM (kg)

Qi

Energy received by the collector (kJ)

Qs

Energy stored (kJ)

Qpcm

Energy stored in PCM (kJ)

Qw

Energy stored in water (kJ)

Ta

Ambient temperature (K)

Tpcm,f

Final PCM temperature (K)

Tpcm,i

Initial PCM temperature (K)

Tw,f

Final water temperature (K)

Tw,i

Initial water temperature (K)

Abbreviations

PCM

Phase change material

NCPCM

Nanocomposite phase change material

SiO2

Silicon dioxide

AlN

Aluminum nitride

SS

Stainless steel

mass%

Percentage of mass

Subscripts

c

Collector

s

Stored

b

System body

l

Loss

w

Water

pcm

Phase change material

i

Initial

f

Final

in

Input

a

Ambient

t

Total

Greek symbols

ηc

Energy efficiency (%)

Ψc

Exergy efficiency (%)

Δhpcm

Latent heat of PCM (kJ kg−1)

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringKPR Institute of Engineering and TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringDr.N.G.P. Institute of TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia

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