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Energy concentration limits in solar thermal heating applications

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  • Li, Qiyuan
  • Shirazi, Ali
  • Zheng, Cheng
  • Rosengarten, Gary
  • Scott, Jason A.
  • Taylor, Robert A.

Abstract

Global demand for heating accounts for more than 50% of primary energy consumption. Thermal energy for such purposes is produced mainly by natural gas, electricity, biomass, geothermal, and solar thermal technologies. Solar energy is an abundant, but low density, resource which can be harvested with little environmental impacts. In order to achieve outputs suitable for commercial and industrial applications, optical concentrators are conventionally required to increase the temperature and efficiency of a solar thermal system's output. In this paper, we instead explore the potential for utilizing energy concentrators to boost the performance of solar thermal collectors. To determine the feasibility of this approach, engineering limitations are established for realistic energy concentrators. Our analysis reveals that maximum effective energy concentration ratios of 176 and 2208 are possible for passive and active energy concentrators, respectively. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential of this concept for solar thermal collectors and other low-grade sources of heat.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Qiyuan & Shirazi, Ali & Zheng, Cheng & Rosengarten, Gary & Scott, Jason A. & Taylor, Robert A., 2016. "Energy concentration limits in solar thermal heating applications," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 253-267.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:96:y:2016:i:c:p:253-267
    DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2015.12.057
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Yinfeng & Lu, Beibei & Chen, Haijun & Fan, Hongtu & Taylor, Robert A. & Zhu, Yuezhao, 2017. "Experimental investigation of the thermal performance of a horizontal two-phase loop thermosiphon suitable for solar parabolic trough receivers operating at 200–400 °C," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 289-304.
    2. Li, Qiyuan & Zheng, Cheng & Shirazi, Ali & Bany Mousa, Osama & Moscia, Fabio & Scott, Jason A. & Taylor, Robert A., 2017. "Design and analysis of a medium-temperature, concentrated solar thermal collector for air-conditioning applications," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 1159-1173.
    3. Guobin Cao & Hua Qin & Rajan Ramachandran & Bo Liu, 2019. "Solar Concentrator Consisting of Multiple Aspheric Reflectors," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(21), pages 1-14, October.
    4. Qiu, Guodong & Yu, Shipeng & Cai, Weihua, 2021. "A novel heating strategy and its optimization of a solar heating system for a commercial building in term of economy," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 221(C).

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