The evolutionary thermal performance and development of a novel thermal diode pre-heat solar water heater under simulated heat flux conditions

Mervyn Smyth, Patrick Quinlan, Jayanta Mondol, Aggelos Zacharopoulos, Dominic McLarnon, Adrian Pugsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper presents the development through experimental performance characterisation of a pre-heat ICSSWH that utilises a novel thermal diode operation to reduce ambient heat loss during non-collection periods. Using a bespoke thermal flux simulation test facility, 4 prototype versions of the pre-heat thermal diode ICSSWH were produced and evaluated (Mark I to IV) at Ulster University. Each prototype was developed and evolved on the previous design, encompassing performance improvements and fabrication enhancements. The concept has been designed and developed to be a sustainable, pre-heat alternative to other solar water heating systems traditionally used in DHW installations in retro-fit and social housing applications. The highest 6 h and 3 h collection efficiency was 33.2% and 41.97%, respectively under thermally simulated conditions for a unit with capillary matting and 150 mbar internal pressure (MIIIb 17). The lowest system ‘U’ value was 0.98Wm-2K-1 (long and thin raised pockets, MIV 12) under thermal (solar) flux simulation testing and no draw-off conditions. When the current prototype ICS units are compared with other conventional ICS systems, particularly in terms of thermal retention during non-collection periods, an improved performance is clearly demonstrated. The measured thermal losses were approximately 50% less than other similarly measured systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1167
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume113
Early online date22 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • ICSSWH
  • Pre-heat
  • Thermal flux simulation
  • Thermal diode

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