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Numerical study of heat transfer enhancement in the receiver tube of direct steam generation with parabolic trough by inserting metal foams


  • Wang, P.
  • Liu, D.Y.
  • Xu, C.


The present numerical simulation investigates the effect of inserting metal foams in receiver tube of parabolic trough collector on heat transfer. The effects of layout (top/bottom), geometrical parameter (H), and porosity (φ) of metal foams on the flow resistant, heat transfer and thermo-hydraulic performance are analyzed. Optimum thermo-hydraulic performance considering the flow resistance increase is obtained when H=0.25 (bottom), Nu increases about 5–10 times with the increase of f 10–20 times and the PEC range from 1.4 to 3.2. Optimum thermal performance is obtained when H=0.75 (top), Nu increases about 10–12 times with the increase of f 400–700 times and the PEC range from 1.1 to 1.5. The maximum circumferential temperature difference on the out surface of receiver tube decreases about 45% which will greatly reduce the thermal stress. The result shows that for constant layout and φ, the H effects on the thermal performance greatly, but for constant layout and H, the φ effects on the thermal performance slightly. Moreover, the layout in view of no-uniform heat flux boundary affects the heat transfer significantly. These methods and results can be extended to the heat transfer enhancement of all the solar concentrated receivers.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, P. & Liu, D.Y. & Xu, C., 2013. "Numerical study of heat transfer enhancement in the receiver tube of direct steam generation with parabolic trough by inserting metal foams," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 449-460.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:102:y:2013:i:c:p:449-460
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.07.026

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. He, Ya-Ling & Xiao, Jie & Cheng, Ze-Dong & Tao, Yu-Bing, 2011. "A MCRT and FVM coupled simulation method for energy conversion process in parabolic trough solar collector," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 976-985.
    2. Ravi Kumar, K. & Reddy, K.S., 2009. "Thermal analysis of solar parabolic trough with porous disc receiver," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(9), pages 1804-1812, September.
    3. Zarza, Eduardo & Valenzuela, Loreto & León, Javier & Hennecke, Klaus & Eck, Markus & Weyers, H.-Dieter & Eickhoff, Martin, 2004. "Direct steam generation in parabolic troughs: Final results and conclusions of the DISS project," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 635-644.
    4. Al-Nimr, M.A. & Alkam, M.K., 1998. "A modified tubeless solar collector partially filled with porous substrate," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 165-173.
    5. Fernández-García, A. & Zarza, E. & Valenzuela, L. & Pérez, M., 2010. "Parabolic-trough solar collectors and their applications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(7), pages 1695-1721, September.
    6. Eck, Markus & Steinmann, Wolf-Dieter & Rheinländer, Jürgen, 2004. "Maximum temperature difference in horizontal and tilted absorber pipes with direct steam generation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 665-676.
    7. Sopian, K. & Alghoul, M.A. & Alfegi, Ebrahim M. & Sulaiman, M.Y. & Musa, E.A., 2009. "Evaluation of thermal efficiency of double-pass solar collector with porous–nonporous media," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 640-645.
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