An analytical model to predict the thermal performance of a novel parallel flow packed bed solar air heater
A design of a parallel flow solar air heater with packed material in its upper channel and capable of providing a higher heat flux compared to the conventional non-porous bed double flow systems is presented. An analytical model describing the various temperatures and heat transfer characteristics of such a parallel flow packed bed solar air heater (PFPBSAH) has been developed and employed to study the effects of the mass flow rate and varying porosities of the packed material on its thermal performance. The model employs an iterative solution procedure to solve the governing energy balance equations describing the complex heat and mass exchanges involved. To validate the proposed analytical model, comparisons between theoretical and experimental results showed that good agreement is achieved with reasonable accuracy. Also, PFPBSAH is found to perform more efficiently than the conventional non-porous double flow solar air heaters with 10-20% increase in its thermal efficiency. Furthermore, the effect of the fraction of mass flow rate in the upper or lower flow channel of PFPBSAH device on its performance, has also investigated theoretically. The fraction of the mass flow rate in the respective channels of the PFPBSAH is shown to be dominant parameter in determining the effective thermal efficiency of the heater.
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Volume (Year): 88 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
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