Experimental characterisation of different hermetically sealed horizontal, cylindrical double vessel Integrated Collector Storage Solar Water Heating (ICSSWH) prototypes

Mervyn Smyth, Jayanta Mondol, Ronald Muhumuza, Adrian Pugsley, A Zacharopoulos, Dominic McLarnon, Cesare Forzano, Annamaria Buonomano, Adolfo Palombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Existing Integrated Collector Storage Solar Water Heaters (ICSSWHs) are typically simple and low-cost devices that combine heat collection and storage functions in one unified vessel. However, during non-collection periods they are affected by higher heat loss characteristics when compared to standard solar collector systems. This paper introduces the design evolution of new horizontal cylindrical ICSSWH prototypes developed at Ulster University that use novel, patented double vessel, thermal diode features (to enhance heat retention during non-collection periods) achieved by incorporating a liquid–vapour phase change material (PCM) with a very low pressure annular cavity. The energy performance evaluation and characterisation of different prototype designs under solar simulated experimental conditions has been conducted and the subsequent parametric analysis presented. A balance between performance and physical/operational considerations is necessary to ensure that new and practical design solutions (in materials, fabrication and assembly) can be formulated to improve the performance of the ICSSWHs within the limits of commercial reality. The importance of augmenting heat transfer across the annulus cavity has been demonstrated with improvement of the cold-start daily collection efficiency from around (η col) of 20% (no HTF), to > 55% when the annulus is evacuated to remove non-condensable gases and form a liquid–vapour phase change thermal diode. Annulus thermal diode heat transfer coefficients of around (U fr) 35 W/m 2K in forward mode and 2 W/m 2K in reverse mode have been demonstrated. Diurnal thermal efficiencies (η col24) of 22% have been measured, but values of 39% have been identified as achievable in the longer-term development of presented ICSSWH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-707
Number of pages13
JournalSolar Energy
Volume206
Early online date20 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Double vessel
  • ICSSWH
  • Solar simulator
  • Solar thermal collector
  • Thermal diode

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