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MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

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SOLAR WATER PUMPING


Mech 6009 Solar Energy Application Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering The University of Hong Kong

Submitted To: Prepared By:

Dr. K. Sumathy Mr. Chan Chun On Mr. Lam Kin Ki

UID: 2001952494 UID: 1994595976

Content
1.0 Introduction 2.0 Basic Theory 3.0 Available Technology 4.0 Application 5.0 Summary of Factors Affecting The Performance of Solar Water Pump 6.0 References

Prepared by:

Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

Page 2 of 14

1.0

INTRODUCTION Utilization of solar energy for pumping water can be in general divided into two categories. The first one is converting solar energy into electric energy by using The second make uses of the solar thermal The fluid undergoes the thermodynamic Since the first photovoltaic, thermoelectric, etc. in which electric induction motor is energized to drive the conventional pump for pumping water. pumping water, is called solar water pump. energy as the prime mover of the thermodynamic processes of a fluid to achieve process can be either water or other liquid have low boiling point. of this report will concentrate on the solar water pump.

category is only have interest on the electricity generation via solar energy, the rest part

2.0

BASIC THEORY This section discuss the fundamental components and its operating principals that used as a basis for developing various type of solar water pump through the introduction of additional component to achieve water pumping. solar water pump please refer to the next section. Solar Collector It is a device to convert solar radiation into thermal energy that absorbed by the working fluid. It can be a flat plat collector or concentrating collector depending on the system Normally, the kinetic of the working configuration and required state of working fluid. working fluid. Detailed descriptions of each type of

fluid relies on the thermosiphon effects induced by temperature and state changes of the But in some circumstances, a circulating pump is used to drive the Because of the circulating pump requires the working fluid at the liquid state region.

source of energy for its operation, most of the solar water pump is designed to us thermosiphon as the kinetic to drive the working fluid. Working Fluid Throughout the heat is added into the working fluid, the state of working fluid changes from liquid phase to gas phase or probably a mixture of them. In the flat plate solar collector system using thermosiphon as the driving force of the working fluid, a mixture of liquid and gas phases of the working fluid will be produced whilst pure gas phase can be achieved in the concentrating type collector. pressure. Also, the type of working fluid will depend on the temperature rise through the solar collector and the operating The pressure of the working fluid is thus increased and easily explained by the following Fig. 1 - Temperature-Volume Diagram.

Prepared by:

Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

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Figure 2.1 : Temperature Volume Diagram of the Working Fluid. The analysis of the thermodynamic conversion of energy of working fluid can be explained by using Rankine Cycle, Brayton Cycle and Stirling Cycle 2. Condenser Heat of the working fluid is rejected to the thermal sink and thus condensed to liquid that is used to undergo the next cycle of water pumping action. reservoir for further usage. Others The rest components is make use of the increased pressure of the working fluid through the solar collector and pump water from the sump to the elevated reservoir, (i.e. Turbine, Pneumatic Tank, Boiler, Piston Pump, Valves, etc 1). is discussed briefly. Types and numbers of additional equipment are conducted in the following section that different type of solar water pump Normally, water is used as the thermal sink which is being pumped or discharged through the elevated

Prepared by:

Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

Page 4 of 14

3.0 3.1

Available Technology There are two main types of solar thermodynamic pumps - Conventional & Unconventional systems. Conventional Solar Pumping Systems Conventional solar pumping systems use solar energy cycles to for operate (i) a thermodynamic control. Figure 3.1 shows a typical large system.

mechanical power output device to drive a mechanical pump directly or via electrical generator, or (ii) a working fluid pressure differential to operate a diaphragm pump. Rankine cycle with low boiling point working fluid is generally used to drive a power output expander, e.g. a turbine, where the total vapour enthalpy is converted into mechanical energy output. The working fluid can be heated directly in a solar collector or indirectly in a heat exchanger by hot water/steam produced by a collector. Arrangements of indirectly heated primary & secondary working fluid system are prevailing for better A remarkable design of unitary solar hot engine is shown in Figure 3.2 for driving small pumps. Air at area A is heated up by solar radiation and expands to push piston P down. In down-stroke of the piston, displacer D moves to the left. On the up-stroke, the displacer moves to the right and heat of the hot air is rejected to the cooling water at end B. An engine efficiency of 9% and a power output of 0.15kW were reported. It was suggested assemblies of small solar
Prepared by: Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki - UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

Fig. 3.1 Schematic of one of the worlds largest conventional solar water pumping system for irrigation.

engines instead of large systems for the high efficiency.

Fig. 3.2

Schematic Diagram of a

Solar Hot-Air Engine.

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

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Unconventional Pumps (Specially designed expanders) Due to high capital cost and maintenance problems for lots of moving parts, and the number of energy conversion stages involved in conventional pumps, unconventional pumping are developed for simple and reliable operation. Unconventional systems work on vapour in, water out principal of vacuum effect due to the volume change when a working fluid condenses in a tank and create a negative pressure inside to suck water into the tank. The unconventional systems can be divided into Air and Water cooled systems. 3.1.1 Air-Cooled Pumps, i.e. working fluid in the pump is cooled by air to achieve the pumping. a) Automatic Solar-Powered Savery Pump - The arrangement is shown in Figure 3.3. Steam over 100C is generated at Boiler B and enters tank D through valve E operated by float F. As water in tank D gets pumped out through pipe J, water level descends and chain hung float G shuts the steam draws inlet well valve. When steam Fig. 3.3 Arrangement of an Automatic Solar-Power Savery Pump condenses, vacuum is created and water. Required maintenance is low. b) A Practical Design of Air-Cooled Pump - A typical air-cooled pump design for practical irrigation lift is shown in Figure 3.4. It operates with pentane as the working fluid and consists of a large closed tank immersed in the pumping water. There is no moving part in the pump except a couple of check valves. Neither an auxiliary power source nor high technical skill is required. Fig. 3.4 Schematic diagram of a Practical Air-Cooled Pump for Irrigation Lift Pentane is vaporised in flat-plate collector under pressure and then is allowed to pressurise water in the
Prepared by: Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

closed tank effecting water pumping.

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

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On vapour condensation, partial vacuum is created and water is drawn into the tank. At night, the vapour condenses through the solar collectors. 120m3 water against a 12m lift can be pumped per day. 3.1.2 Water-Cooled Pumps, i.e. working fluid in the pump is cooled by water to achieve the pumping. a) Maccracken Thermopump - The pump schematic is shown in Figure 3.5. Heat is supplied from solar collector to the generator where the liquid evaporates, pushes the floater down and discharges water in the collapsible rubber lung. When the floater reaches the bottom of its stroke, vapour escapes through the vapour tube and is condensed when it comes on contact with the liquid, which has been cooled by the cold water in the rubber lung. When all the vapour is condensed, the pressure is decreased, water is lifted from the reservoir, the floater moves up to block the vapour tube entrance, and liquid fills the cylinder and generator, and the Fig. 3.5 Schematic the Maccracken Thermopump intermittent pumping action starts b) again. Organic working fluid, operates in the pump with a solar collector, when it is cooled by the wall, creates a suction to lift water up form the supply tank. Maccracken Thermopump and its variants are only suitable for shallow water sources but not lifting water from deep well.

Bellow Actuated Water pump The advantage of the pump is ease in multi-staging to develop high pump head. Figure 3.6 shows the arrangement. The system operates with a close circuit Rankine cycle. The working fluid is separated from water being pumped to avoid water contamination. Solar heat collected to boil the working fluid in the collector tube grids and partly in the boiler drum. At the desired pressure at the boiler drum, the bellow in the bellow chamber is alternatively connected to the vapour chamber and condenser by a 3-way valve. The bellow expands and contracts in the confined actuating water chamber, which is initially filled with water. The pressurisation and rarification of the trapped air in the bellow chamber which, in turn, acts on the water chamber to effect alternately delivery and suction of water. Condensate is returned to the vapour chamber by equalizing the pressures in the vapour chamber and condenser which is water-cooled.

Prepared by:

Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

Page 7 of 14

Fig.

3.6

Schematic

the

Bellow

Actuated Water pump Based on the similar operation, a simplified system operating with a diaphragm in lieu of the bellow called Solar Liquid Piston Pump is designed. It is also a reliable device but with relatively low pump head. c) Brown-Boveri system & the Modified Brown-Boveri System - The Brown-Boveri System is based on the Bellow Actuated Pumping principle but without diaphragm or bellow. Its schematic arrangement is shown in Figure 3.7. However, water may be contaminated form the working fluid as there is no separating media in between. It is not suitable for potable or irrigation uses. A Modified Brown Boveri System, as shown in Figure 3.8, overcame the disadvantage by adding a few tanks to avoid the direct contact. The system operation is by thermosiphon with pentane which is heated in the collector. When pressure in tank S is high enough, vapour in tank S quickly goes into tank A which contains water. Water in tank A, in turn gets displaced to tank B, which initially contains air at atmospheric conditions. Water entering vessel B compresses the air in it to the discharge pressure. This compressed air pushes the water from immersed vessel C to overhead tank D. Water from overhead tank D flows through the cooling coils in vessel A on the way to end use. Water flowing through the cooling coil accelerates the condensation of pentane vapour in vessel A. Because of this condition, pressure in vessel A decreases. This pressure reduction causes water in vessel B to return vessel A, thereby bringing the water in vessel C, through 1-way valve 4. The system is now ready for the next cycle, however, the next cycle cannot be started until and unless the condensation (i.e. the complete condensation of pentane vapour in A) and the collector heats the pentane for a longer period than required.

Prepared by:

Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

Page 8 of 14

Fig.

3.7

Schematic

of

Fig. 3.8 System

Schematic of a Modified

Brown-Boveri system.

Brown-Boveri Solar Water Pumping

With

the

Brown-Boveri as a

System

Modification flourishing.

development also

platform, many other studies are Researchers suggested that insulating the water tank to minimise the heat losses can make a difference in system performance. A scheme proposed by Kwant et al. is shown in Figure 3.9. Fig. 3.9 Diagram of the Kwant et al. Pumping System d) Sumathy Solar thermal Water Pumping System - A complete analysis of a solar thermal water pumping system was carried out by Sumathy et al. The system analysed with pentane as the working fluid is shown in Figure 3.10. The study demonstrated that inserting a vapour storage tank between the separation tank and water tank to limit the pentane pressure and temperature can increase pump performance. This is to reduce the mass flow of pentane per cycle by avoiding sudden gushing of vapour pentane to entrain liquid pentane into Vessel A. It is crucial that liquid pentane should be drained from tank A periodically because the accumulated pentane adds to the volume of water already present in tank A and eventually would flow into tank B at the start of pumping.
Prepared by: Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki - UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

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As the volume of the liquid pentane in tank A increases, the initial volume of air in tank B decreases. Thus it is not possible to compress the air to the required pressure.

Fig. 3.10 Schematic of the Sumathy et al. solar thermal water pump

3.2

Performances Comparison Output from conventional solar pumping system is relatively high due to use of large steam/vapour heat engines. Large solar thermal powered convention turbine pump has developed power at 37kW and large SOFRETS (proprietary design with turbine powered electrical generator) system can generate 50kW electrical power. A small hot air engine can develop power output around 0.12kW. Performances of unconventional solar thermal pumping system are usually expressed in accumulated capacity of daily water pumped and pump head. Performances up to 120m3 water per day against a head of 12m for an air-cooled pump and 800m3/day against a head of 9.1m for a water-cooled pump were reported. The daily pumping capacity of an air-cooled system is limited by the water tank size because the exhaust vapour needs to be cooled and condensed at night. In lift irrigation for a meaningful area, the volume of the required water tank will be too large to be economical. Water cooled pumps have the advantage to overcome the limitation by using water to condense the spent vapour and are more efficient for quantity of water lift per day.

3.2.1 Conventional and Unconventional Pumps

3.2.2 Ranges of Flow Rate and Pressure Head a) Flow rate and pump head of conventional solar water pumping systems with mechanical pumps depend on the power output of the system heat engine and general characteristics of the mechanical pumps. Under the stable operating range, water flow rate will decrease as the pump head increases.
Prepared by: Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki - UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

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Typical water flows and pump heads of conventional solar thermal pumping systems are as follows: Description of Pump/Pumping system 3.68kW solar installation c/w Binary Rankine cycle with monochlorobenzine vapour turbine to drive a mechanical pump 622m2 parabolic trough collector for a R-113 Rankine cycle and Caloria HT-43 as the primary working fluid to drive a turbine (36300rpm) powered pump (1760 rpm) 1.4m2 flat plate collector, Rankine cycle c/w R113 to connect to a Diaphragm SOFRETES, 2499m2 flat plat collector, R-11 vapour turbine powered electrical generator to drive motorised centrifugal pump SOFRETS, 330m2 collector area b) Water flow 11.3m3/day 3744m3/day. Pump Head 45.7m 34.0m

6.2m3/day 4.0m3/day 1000m3/day

14.4m3/day

3.0m 6.0m (Developed electrical power up to 30kW) 14m

For air-cooled unconventional solar water pumps, it has been shown that for the same effective volume of a tank and the same daily pumping period, the pump head will increase with the increases of the collector temperature and collector area as per the energy requirement shown in the Table below: Energy Requirement of air-cooled pump Net lift of water, m Collector temperature, C Collector area, m2 Energy to preheat pentane and flash tank, MJ Theoretical energy requirement, MJ Heat losses to (a) side wall, MJ (b) top cover, MJ (c) to pentane layer on water, MJ Preheating period

9.14 62.2 23.2 55.8 59.9

18.29 74.4 37.2 100.9 74.1

27.43 83.9 51.1 136.3 94.1 206.9 23.1 58.1 07:00h 10:00h 10:00h 15:00h

129.9 204.0 16.0 21.0 40.4 52.9 07:00h 07:00h 10:00h 10:00h Pumping period 10:00h 10:00h 15:00h 15:00h Tank size: diameter 3.05m, height:3.66m, effective volume:24.92m3

Typical water flow and pump head of other air-cooled unconventional pumping systems Description of Pump/Pumping system Air-cooled, piston hydraulic pump c/w 12m2 collector & methyl chloride as working fluid Air-cooled Solar Water Pump Water flow 1.20m3/day 120 m3/day Pump Head 15m 12m

Prepared by:

Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

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c)

For Water-Cooled Unconventional Pumping System, the daily pumping capacity can be high because of multi-cycle operation during the day. The amount of water pumped in a day is related to the number of operating cycles per day and the volume of the immersed water tank. Arrangement of multi-stage water cooled pumps can also be used to achieve large pump heads. From the researches of Sumathy et.al on a system with a vapour tank, results showed that the pump could perform 23 cycles a clear sky day and water lift at 14.6L per cycle (i.e. daily lift at 336 L) against a head of 6m. The total radiation incident on the collector was 14.8MJ and the overall efficiency was 0.134%. It took 2 to 3 minutes for each cycle. The studies revealed the following important relationship of water-cooled pumps:

i)

Relation between Number of cycles per day and discharge head is shown in Figure 3.11. The number of cycles per day decreases with increasing discharge head because the pump requires a higher starting pressure to pump water at higher discharge heads, so delaying the starting time. Hence the operation period of the pump is reduced. The number of cycles is also decreased. Furthermore, the time that elapses between increases. two successive cycles Fig. 3.11 No. of Cycles per Day against Discharge Head between the water becomes greater as the discharge

ii)

Relationship in Figure 3.12:

pumped and discharge head is shown Amount of water pumped per day decreases as the discharge head increases. The quantity of water lifted per cycle should theoretically be the volume of water in vessel C. The decrease is commensurate with decrease in the number of cycles shown in Figure 3.11.
Prepared by: Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki - UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

Fig. 3.12

Daily Water pumped

against Discharge Head

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

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Typical water flow and pump head of other water-cooled unconventional pumping systems Description of Pump/Pumping system Solar Liquid Piston Pump (112mm dia. x 75mm high) Sudhakars modified pump c/w 93m2 collector area Sumathys water cooled pump c/w 1m2 collector area and incorporated with a new vapour tank 3.2.3 Range of Efficiency The efficiencies of thermal solar water pumps are relatively low in comparison with electrical/diesel pumping, however, the energy source for thermal solar water pump is a renewable and is basically free, self-sustainable and suitable for using in rural area where electrical power distribution is not available. The efficiency of solar thermal water pumping system is defined as the ratio of the hydraulic workdone by the pump onto the water being pumped throughout the operation period of operation of the pump to the total solar radiation incident on the collector during the period of operation of the pump. For continuous operated systems, e.g. conventional system with centrifugal pumps, the efficiency can be expressed as the ratio of pump hydraulic power (product of water flow rate and the total pump head pressure) to the instantaneous solar radiation incident on the collector. For unconventional systems, the overall efficiency, , can be expressed by: = NWh/Htot where N is the number of operating cycles per day Water flow 12960L/day. 800000L/day 330L/day 240L/day 180L/day Pump Head 0.8m 9.1m 6m 8m 10m

Wh is hydraulic workdone by the pump/cycle (Vwgh, water flow per cycle x total water pressure increased across the pump) Htot is total solar radiation incident on collector during pumping period The overall efficiencies of water cooled systems (as Fig. 3.9) are numerically low and general between0.05% and 0.10% against a pump head of 10m. Low efficiency is because there are many stages in converting solar energy to hydraulic work. Use of high efficiency solar energy collector can certainly improve the efficiency. In the recent works by Sumathy et al. on a water cooled pump added with a Vapour Tank (Figure 3.10 above), a significant improvement of 30% increase in the overall efficiency from the general 0.10% to 0.13% was achieved. This is because the Vapour Tank allows the working fluid vapour to enter tank A quickly, and the successful optimization of the sizes of various tanks in the system. The study also shows that overall efficiency is closely related with the pump head (Figure 3.13).
Prepared by: Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki - UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

Page 13 of 14

The

overall

efficiency

decreases

marginally with increasing discharge head. The decrease can be attributed to the decrease in the number of cycles that the pump can perform in a day. Although the work required to pump water per cycle increases with increasing discharge head, the number of cycles decreases drastically. Hence, for a given intensity of solar radiation, the decrease in the number of cycles with the increasing discharge head results in lower efficiency. 4.0 APPLICATION The efficiency of the solar water pump can be as low at the order of 0.1% but the special significance of application in countries where farming communities are scattered over large and distant area and where the electricity supply network is not available. American. This would include most of the countries in Asia, Africa and Latin Because of the large distances involved and low energy requirements, Fig. 3.13 Overall Efficiency against Discharge Head.

transmission of electrical energy from power plant becomes an uneconomic investment. The same is applied on transmission piping network for oil delivery for the operation of oil engine to drive the pump for water pumping. and pump are an important concern. Also, the availability of the skilled technician and engineer for operating and maintenance of oil engine, electricity motor The use of solar water pump in which solar energy is abundant and rich in region close to the equator become an important concerns with low demand of energy consumption. The development of solar water pump using the simplest technology where only solar collector, liquid separator, pneumatic vessel, valves with least mechanical moving part that enhance the application of the solar water pump for irrigation purposes. Also, the required pressure head is not so high for the irrigation with significant amount of daily consumption, this is the main reasons that the solar water pump can than have the trends become more and more popular.

Prepared by:

Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

MECH 6009 : Solar Energy Application - Solar Water Pumping

Page 14 of 14

5.0

SUMMARY OF FACTORS AFFECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF SOLAR WATER PUMP Since the rate of vapour generated through the flat plate collector is low for obvious reasons, the water can only be pumped slowly by this vapour. Because of slow displacement of water by the vapour, it will cause condensation during the pumping process thus reducing the efficiency of the solar water pump. When the flat plate collector operate at unnecessary high temperature at some particular solar time in which the incidence solar radiation is nearly normal to the solar collector, this reduces the collector efficiencies and thus the overall efficiency of the solar water pump. Too many valves are operated manually and causing the low efficiency of the solar water pump because the pumping process is not instantaneous. The exposed area of the solar collector is not optimized in the working environment. After a number of cycle operations, it may require to return the condensed working fluid in the pressure vessel back to the separating tank of the working fluid. Environmental factors which affect the intensity of solar radiation reaches the solar collector, which is outside the scope that we can control. Angle of latitude and declination also participate part of the factors that affect the efficiency of the solar water pump. This is not confined in the application of solar The same is applied for the water pump but for all kinds of solar energy application. environmental factor as described above. Insulation of the high temperature operating equipment will reduce condensation of working fluid occurs thus enhance the efficiency of the system. Carefully design and choose of the insulation material is a great importance of the system design. Also the condensation of the working fluid before it diverted back for the next cycle of operation should be carefully controlled to ensure no significant sub-cooling of the working fluid thus increase the operating efficiency

6.0 a) b)

REFERENCES Y.W.Wong & K. Sumathy Solar thermal water pumping systems: a review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 3 (1999) 185-217 K. Sumathy, A. Venkatesh & V. Sriramulu A solar thermal water pump. Energy 53 (1996) 235-243 Applied

Prepared by:

Chan Chun On Lam Kin Ki

- UID: 2001952494 - UID 1994595976

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