Experimental Investigation of the Thermal Performance of Vacuum Tube Solar Collectors (VTSC) Using Alumina Nanofluids

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

Solar Energy Group, Energy Department, Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC), Karaj, Iran

Abstract

The enhancement of the thermal performance of Vacuum Tube Solar Collectors (VTSC) was studied by using alumina nanofluid as working fluid. VTSC is a simple and commonly utilized type of collector. This study established the heat transfer experimental model of all glass VTSCs used in a forced-circulation solar water heating system using alumina nanofluid as base fluid. Al2O3 (with an average particle size of 15 nm) nanoparticles were provided and utilized to prepare nanofluids at a low mass concentration (0.5–1 wt.%). The thermal performances of VTSC were 15.3%, 25.7%, and 27.2% for the deionized water and Al2O3/water nanofluids with 0.5 and 1.0 wt. % as the working fluid, respectively. Generally, for Al2O3/water nanofluids with mass concentrations of 0.5 and 1.0 wt. %, the thermal performance increased by 67.9% and 77.7%, respectively, superior to that of vacuum tube using deionized water as the working fluid. Experimental results also showed that, for all three experimental tests, the thermal efficiency of the VTSC would increase by enhancing the average solar radiation.
 

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