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Solar Water Heating Theory

R T Dobson
Senior Lecturer
rtd@sun.ac.za

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 1
The
Objective
of this talk is to present the
basic theory
on which solar water heaters work.

We will consider
flat plate solar water heaters
(both thermosyphon and pumped)
as well as
evacuated tube solar water heaters

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 2
Contents

How do we?:
Collect the heat
Transport the heat
Store the transferred heat

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South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 3
A little about myself

1970-1980 Nuclear Energy


1980-1985 Solar Energy
1985-1988 Missile Manufacture Management
1988-2008 Heat Transfer Lecturer

My research philosophy is:

Adaptive engineering
were we try and engineer our heat transfer systems to make
exclusive use of
natural forces
such as gravity, surface tension density gradients and buoyancy
to do the job for us
without the use of any mechanically moving parts such as pumps
and mechanical activators and active electronic and mechanical
controls and switches

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 4
We used the roof and the car park as our solar water heater
test laboratory at Kwikot LTD, Edinburg Road, Benoni

Solar panels

SAHPA Integral Solar water heaters


South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 5
Thelma (Kwikot Factory Personal manager) cooking pap along
side Benoni Lake in 1983

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 6
Front and back-page of our Frost Resistance Panel

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 7
Solar water heater
configurations

Integral
Thermosyphon
Pumped
Close-coupled
Swimming pool

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South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 8
Integral solar water heater
Solar collector and Water Storage all in one unit

or
ct
lle

ge
Co

ra
sto
er
at
W

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 9
Water
storage
Thermosyphon
solar water
heater

ro
ct
Solar collector below

lle
Co
water Storage and
water flows by
thermosyphonic action

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 10
Pumped solar water heater

Solar collector
below water
storage. Water is
pumped

Water
r
to
lec

storage
l
Co

Water Pump
SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 11
Close-coupled Thermosypon
solar water heater
Solar collector and
water storage Water
separated but on a storage
common integrated
support platform to
look like a single unit

of
Ro
r
to
llec
Co

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 12
Close-coupled Indirect Tank-in-Tank
Thermosyphon solar water heater
Thermosyphon (or natural circulation
indirect solar water heating system Water
storage
tank
Tank-in-tank
heat exchanger

Circulation loop
containing anti-freeze
Solar and water solution
collector

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 13
Swimming pool solar water
heater
Water pumped from Solar
pool up to solar collector
collectors on roof

High-pressure pump

Open water tank

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South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 14
Swimming
pool solar
water heating
system

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South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 15
Thermosyphon solar water heating system
How does it work?
The density of the hot
fluid is less than the
density of the cold fluid.
The force of attraction to
the earth of the hot fluid
is less than for the cold
fluid. As a result of this
force imbalance cold
fluid sinks and the hot
Fhot = hotgH Fcold = coldgH fluid rises and the fluid
H circulates around the
loop. The denser or
heavier fluid package
will sinks and pushes the
less-dense or lighter fluid
up

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 16
Thermosyphon solar water heating system

Glass cover
Hot
Hot water
rises
Cold

Cold
Cold
water
water
sinks
sinks
Insulation

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 17
Basic theory: Divide the system into control volumes and
apply the conservation of mass, momentum and energy
m& out
x
m& vout Pout

m& hout

m& in mg
Conservation of mass: x
m& vin
m
= m& in m& out
t
Pin
m& hin Q& heat transfer
Conservation of momentum: Thot Tcold
mv =
= m& vin m& vout mg x ( Pout Pin ) A R
t
U
Conservation of energy and heat transfer: = m& hin m& hout + Q& heat transfer
SAHPA t
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 18
Basic heat transfer theory:
x
Thot Tcold
Heat transfer equation: Q =
& [W] Q&
R Cold
Hot

x
R= [C/W]
Conduction: kA
Q& Cold
1
R= [C/W] Hot
Convection: hA
Fluid
1
Radiation:
R=
( )
A (T1 + 273) + (T2 + 273) ((T1 + 273) + (T2 + 273) )
2 2
[

Q&
Hot Cold
vacuum
SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 19
Basic theory: Effect of glazing (glass)
longwave
Q& radiation
longwave
shortwave
Q& solar incident
Q& radiation Q& convection
shortwave
Q& solar incident
Q& reflected
Q& convection
Q& reflected
Glass
Q& conductionQ& radiation
longwave

Absorber Absorber

Insulation Insulation

Q& conduction 0 Q& conduction 0


(a) No glass cover (b) With glass cover plate
plate
SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 20
Evacuated-tube solar water
heaters Hot water
Hot
water Vapour

Cold water

glass
Condensate

Black paint Evacuated


double walled
Vacuum glass tube
+
Evacuated heat pipe
double walled
SAHPA glass tube
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 21
Typical domestic evacuated-tube
solar water heater installation

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 22
Typical pumped indirect solar
water heating system
Heat exchanger

Water
storage
tank

Pump Expansion tank

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 23
Basic theory: Heat collection
Q& reflected = (1 )Q& solar Heat storage
Q& solar
Q& waterout Water
= m& cTwaterout storage
tank
Q& waterinto tank
Q& in = Q& solar
= m& cTwaterin
Q& lost
Q& waterin = m& cTwaterin
(
= U Tcollector Tsurrounding air )
Q& into water
(
Q& into collector = Q& solar U Tcollector Tsurrounding air )

Q& in Q& lost = Q& absorbedby water


Q& solar - U(Tcollector Tsurrounding air ) = m
& c(Twaterout Twaterin )

Q& waterin = m& cTwaterin


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South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 24
Typical solar water heater collector characteristics

100

80
Collector efficiency, (%)

Solar collector thermal perfofmance characteristic is :


= a + b(Tc Ta )
60 where solar colloector efficiency =
&
Q collected
&
Q input
&
Q Q&
= & solar = , and
input
heat input factor a= &
Qsolar Qsolar
40 ( )
Evacuated glass tube heat collected - U Tcollector Tsurrounding air
heat loss factor b = & = &
Q solar Q solar
heat into water m & c(Twater out Twater in )
= & = &
Q Q
20 solar solar
Black
Black paint Selective coating
paint
+ Glass + Glass

0 100 200 300


Temperature difference, Tc Ta (C)
Twaterin + Twater out
where Tc
2

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 25
My rules!@#$%^&*()?:
Up to 40% electricity savings
50 % efficient
Overheating??
500 W/m2 over an 8 hour period

Expansion relief??
Air bubbles??
Thanks Automatic air relief??
Pressure??

Corrosion?? Freezing??

Gas loaded heat pipe Reverse thermosyphoning??


temperature control??

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South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 26
Typical pumped indirect solar
water heating system
Heat exchanger

Water
storage
tank

Pump Expansion tank

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 27
Theoretical modeling
Consider a hollow pipe with a variable diameter
and fashioned into a closed loop and also
containing a working fluid
Expansion
tank
z
z
g

Divide the loop up into a number of smaller control


volumes, apply the equations of change to each
control volume, and integrate around the loop!
SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 28
Theoretical modeling (cont.)

Conservation of Mass
m
Single phase flow = 0 = m& in m& out
t
m
Two-phase flow 0 = m& in m& out but mass enters the
t
expansion tank instantaneously

Assumptions:
* One-dimensional flow m& = VA
* Both liquid and vapour phases are incompressible
* Density (pressure) waves occur instantaneously, ie speed of
sound >> m&

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 29
Theoretical modeling (cont.)

Conservation of Energy

Single phase flow for the ith control volume with the
temperature T expressed explicitly:
Heat transfer rate

t &
t + t
+ t (Qin,out + m& iin m& iout )
t
Ti = Tit
mi c

m = Az i = enthalpy
c = specific heat

SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 30
Theoretical modeling (cont.)

Conservation of Energy

Two-phase flow for the ith control volume with the


temperature T expressed explicitly:
t &
uit + t = uit + t (Qin,out + m& iin m& iout )
mi c
t +t
If ut+t < uf then Thp = ut +t cv and xt+t = 0
t +t
If u t+t > uf then Thp = Tsat and
xt+t = ut+t utf+t utfg+t , where uhp = uf + xufg ,
i = if + xifg , uf = cvThp and if = cpThp .
SAHPA
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 31
Theoretical modeling (cont.)
Conservation of Momentum applied to heat pipe control
volumes to determine the mass flow rate
Buoyancy driving term Frictional-resistance term

Nk C f ,l o,k l o,k L k + Lf,equiv,k 2


Nk
k L k g sin k k=1 r 2
Ax, k
m&
d m& k =1
=
k i, hp
Nk L Nk L
dt k
k
k =1 Ax, k k =1 Ax, k
Assumptions:
* Quasi-eqilibrium
* Both liquid and vapour phases are incompressible
* Homogeneous two-phase flow model
* Hydrostatic pressure at a point (Archimedes and
SAHPA
Boussinesq s approximation)
South African Heat Pipe Association Solar Water Heating Theory, 24 Oct 2008, Stias, Stellenbosch 32

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