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Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63

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Original Research Article

Design, simulation and optimization of a compound parabolic collector
E. Bellos ⇑, D. Korres, C. Tzivanidis, K.A. Antonopoulos
National Technical University of Athens, School of Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Department, Heroon Polytehniou 9, 157 73 Zografou, Athens, Greece

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 12 November 2015
Revised 19 March 2016
Accepted 19 April 2016

Optical analysis
Thermal analysis
Collector design

a b s t r a c t
In this study, the optical and the thermal performance of a compound parabolic collector (CPC) with
evacuated tube are presented. In the first part, the optimization of the reflector geometry is given and
in the next part the thermal analysis of the solar collector is presented. The design of the reflector has
a great impact on the solar energy exploitation and for this reason is analyzed in detail. In the thermal
analysis of the collector, the two most usual thermal fluids, the pressurized water and typical thermal
oil, are compared. Pressurized water performs better and it is the most suitable working fluid for transferring the heat because of its properties; something that is analyzed in this study. Moreover, the optical
efficiency of the collector for various solar angles (longitude and transverse) is investigated and the heat
flux distribution over the absorber is given. In the last part, the temperature distribution over the absorber and inside the fluid are presented and a simple validation of the thermal model is also presented. The
model is designed in commercial software Solidworks and simulated in its flow simulation studio.
Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

The increasing cost of fossil fuels and of the electricity conjugated with the environmental problems caused by the CO2 emissions lead our society to turn its interest in renewable energy
sources. Solar energy utilization is a promising way to cover a great
part of worldwide energy demand by various ways. The conventional flat plate collectors (FPC) are widely used for domestic hot
water production and for low temperature applications
(30–90 °C). Concentrating collectors with high concentrating ratios
operate in high temperature levels (300–400 °C) [1] by giving suitable heat for electricity production in power plants. Parabolic
trough collectors (PTC), Fresnel collectors, central tower receivers
and parabolic dish Stirling engines [2,3] are the main solar
technologies for electricity production. For the intermediate
temperature range from 100 °C to 300 °C lessens number of solar
collector types are used while many industrial and residential
applications operate in these temperature limits. Applications as
desalination, oil extraction, low temperature electricity production, food production, methanol reforming and space cooling with
absorption technology [4–13] demand energy sources in the above
temperature range. The most suitable solar collector for these conditions is the compound parabolic collector (CPC) with evacuated
tube which is able to produce efficiently the processing heat. The
use of the evacuated tube is essential in order to overcome the
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +30 210 772 2340.
E-mail address: (E. Bellos).
2213-1388/Ó 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

limit of 100 °C and the conjugation with a concentrating trough
leads to higher levels.
CPC belongs to non-imaging concentrators with low concentrating ratio (1–5) [14,15] which exploits mainly the beam radiation and a part of diffuse radiation [8]. The small concentration
ratio recuses the tracking demand and many CPC systems are able
to operate without tracking which lead to lower cost [16,17]. More
specifically, a tracking system with the CPC axis in East–West
orientation needs only a small seasonal adjustment in order to perform in a high way [15]. The geometry design of a CPC is related to
the application and every manufacturer takes into consideration
the operating condition in every case. Important point in the
design is the relation between concentration ratio and the acceptance angle which is inversely [14,15]. CPC invented by Winston
in 1960 in the U.S.A. and they presented in 1974 [18,19]. The first
applications were about hot water supply and many studies have
been made for improving their performance. Rabl in 1976 [20]
developed a mathematical model for the average number of rays
reflections in a CPC, something very important for the optical analysis. Studies for CPC with non-evacuated tubes for thermal performance have been made in order to predict the efficiency in various
operating conditions [21,22]. The use of evacuated tubes was first
analyzed in Argonne National Laboratory [23] in before 1980. Snail
in 1984 [24] analyzed an integrated stationary CPC with evacuated
tube. The final results proved an optical efficiency of 65% and a
thermal of 50%. Kim et al. [25] compared a stationary and a tracing
CPC and proved that the tracking mechanism improves the efficiency at about 15%. Because the tracking system is important

mm Reynolds number temperature. mm heat flux. mm focal length.31] analyzed asymmetrical CPC for integrated solar systems with one and two tanks inside the collector respectively. W/m2 K aperture length. The use of asymmetric CPC. The simulation of the collector has been done with commercial software Solidworks flow simulation. The methodology that is followed lead to an intercept factor close to 1. kg/s mean Nusselt number Prandtl number absorber placement. a common CPC and a dielectric solid CPC. Abu-Bakar [28] studied a rotationally asymmetrical compound parabolic concentrator with a PV module. the pressurized water. This optimization gives the opportunity to improve the collector optical . J/kg K diameter. Finally. m2 concentration ratio specific heat capacity. mm mean convection coefficient. mm Greek symbols b peripheral absorber angle. W down part placement. These systems include compound parabolic reflectors.54 E. longitudinal projection angle are developed by Wang [27] so as the tracking systems to be analyzed more. a thermal efficiency comparison between pressurized water and thermal oil as working fluids is presented for different operating conditions. Sallabery [26] analyzed how the tracking error influences on the long-term performance of the system and reported that the yearly energy loss is about 1%. phase change materials and special materials (absorber and cover) in order to achieve high daily performance. [14] analyzed also a lens-walled CPC with a PV module and resulted that the lens creates a uniform flux distribution in the PV-module which increases their efficiency. A comparison of N–S and E–W orientated CPCs presented by Kim [5]. Moreover. The main idea is the development of a non tracking collector which performs well during the day due to the different shape of the reflector’s parabolas that allows the collector to operate efficiently for a great range of incident angles. a deeper analysis for the best working fluid. The idea of solar cooker examined by Harmin [33] where a booster reflector was located in order to increase the optical efficiency in the stationary mode operation. Bellos et al. ° hc half-acceptance angle. Moreover. ° hΤ l dynamic viscosity. The use of lens in the trough in order to increase the acceptance angle is an innovative idea which is being examined in recent years. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63 Nomenclature A C cp D f G H hm k L m Num Pr p Q q Re T UL W area. while Souliotis et al. Mathematical equations for solar transversal projection angle. Guiqiang et al. [29] and Kessentini [30. Su et al. W/m K tube length. which is the ideal modeling. [32] made a very interesting review about integrated collector solar water heaters stating the novelties that are able to increase their efficiency. ° transverse solar angle. while both an optical and thermal analysis has been conducted. ° c intercept factor e emittance g efficiency h solar incident angle. Firstly. In this study. many other researches have been worked in this area. W/m2 parabola length. has been studied from many researchers. Examined model A compound parabolic collector with an evacuated tube is examined in this study. W/m2 K thermal conductivity. mm solar radiation. A lot of research has been conducted worldwide for the CPC performance improvement. ° Subscripts and superscripts a aperture abs absorbed am ambient b beam c cover ca cover-air ci inner cover co outer cover d diffuse e exploited fm mean fluid in inlet L Local loss losses m mean max maximum o oil opt optical out outlet r receiver ri inner receiver ro outer receiver s solar th thermal tube receiver tube u useful w water between lens-walled CPC. which means two different parabolic shapes. a comparison between pressurized water and thermal oil is presented in order to determine the most suitable fluid energetically. Singh et al. [34] made a comparison (sa) u transmittance–absorptance product Parabola angle parameter. is presented. ° hL longitude solar angle. but it has lower optical efficiency in low incidence angles. a CPC with an evacuated tube is designed and simulated. an optimization of its geometry is made in order to maximize the optical efficiency. The results showed that lens-walled CPC has greater acceptance angle. Moreover. Also. °C losses coefficient. Pa s q reflectance parameter. The model was designed in Solidworks by a parametrical way in order to optimize its geometry. mm mass flow rate. a parametric analysis for different solar angles (transversal and longitudinal) is given to calculate the optical losses for different cases. The innovative point of this study is the reflector design.

. The optical efficiency of the collector is the ratio of the absorbed energy from the tube to the total solar energy entering to the aperture. without slope. this parameter is calculated as the ratio of the solar irradiation that arrives at the tube to the reflected solar irradiation from the mirror. efficiency and to achieve optimum performance. while the absorber diameter designed at 30 mm. Fig. the height H and the acceptance half-angle hc are easily calculated. the acceptance angle. (2) summarizes the above analysis: c¼ Q tube . The first step in the simulation was the determination of the physical problem. For this reason. This tangency is crucial because leads to a smooth surface and as a consequence to a greater optical efficiency. Eq. Qs ð1Þ The mirror reflectivity q is the first optical loss and it is affected by the surface quality. is the beam radiation and a part of the diffuse radiation which is depended on concentration ratio. it is essential to state that the solar radiation. This quantity can be easily calculated by a product of three parameters. two other angles. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63 55 Fig. Eq. 1. However. In this point. thus an optimization of the reflector geometry is presented. C ð3Þ The incident angle h is a very important parameter which affects on the optical efficiency. For this study case. More specifically. the focal distance f and the angle u were selected to be 50 mm and 90° respectively. Simulation in Solidworks environment and methodology The examined model was designed in Solidworks and simulated in its flow simulation studio. this part is created by two identical circular parts which are tangent with the parabolas. First of all. For this reason. Geometric parameters of CPC design. the reflector shape determines the intercept factor. some of these parameters were selected to be constant and the optimization was applied on the rest of them. the transverse and the longitude. (3) describes the exploited solar irradiation: Ge ¼ Gb þ Gd . By knowing these parameters. the height. Bellos et al. Eq. that CPC utilizes. the aperture. It is important to state that many parameters influence on the optical performance of the collector and the optimization of all them leads to a very complex problem. Fig. (4) gives the incident angle (h) as a function of the transversal and the longitudinal angles: tan2 ðhÞ ¼ tan2 ðhL Þ þ tan2 ðhT Þ. These conditions lead all the rays which are incident vertically on the aperture plane and arrive at the parabolic surfaces to reach to the absorber tube. In addition.E. The parameters were being optimized are the aperture W and the distance q which is related to the down part of the CPC. ð4Þ Table 1 includes the basic dimensions of the collector and other important parameters of the simulation. The boundary conditions. The material selection is presented below: – The absorber is selected to be made of cooper. the materials of the parts and the properties of every material are the main parameters that have been determined. are being introduced to determine the exact position of the sun. In the examined case. 2 illustrates these solar angles in a 3-D scheme. the tube diameters and etcetera. Moreover. The absorber’s sketch is located in the symmetry axis of the sketch plane and is tangent to the straight line AB which connects the two parabolas focus as well as to the one is defined from C and B. Qs  q ð2Þ Qtube symbolizes the reaching radiation to the tube while (sa) is the product of cover transmittance and receiver absorbance. as Eq. extra information about the relative position between collector and sun is necessary in order to predict the exact path of the solar rays inside the collector. 1 shows the CPC scheme and the geometry parameters. The next loss is expressed by the intercept factor c which is depended on the incident angle of the radiation. CPC is created by two parabolas and a third part which connects them. These solar angles are used in the optical analysis. (1) presents: Q gopt ðhÞ ¼ abs ¼ q  cðhÞ  ðsaÞ. the solar radiation parameters are very important for this analysis and emphasis is given to them.

– The total enthalpy difference between the outlet and the inlet of the tube. Solar angles and 3-D CPC shape. The proper boundary conditions of the simulation are the following: – The inlet mass flow rate in the internal face of the inlet lid. some parameters were kept constant and others were varied. The multiple reflections have been taken into account in this model. The model was simulated for various study cases. specific convergence goals were selected in order to take the proper output from Solidworks and to lead the solver to the desirable results. Simulation parameter Values Geometry dimensions Values er ec q(sa) 0. The choice of these values have made after a small sensitivity analysis. – The mean receiver temperature in its outer surface. – The thermal losses of the receiver which are equal to its radiation losses.000 cells and the total mesh is consisted of about 4. These lids were selected to be as ‘‘insulators”. 2. The final mesh contains in every cross cross-section about 50. For this reason.000. The next step is a refinement in fluid and partial cells in order to make the mesh better inside the tube.1 0.01 kg/s 10 °C 10 W/m2 °C p L f Dri Dro Dci Dco 17 m 1000 mm 50 mm 30 mm 34 mm 44 mm 48 mm Ge mw Tam hca – The cover is transparent to solar energy and is made of glass. – The heat convection coefficient between the outer cover surface and the environment. It is essential to state again that the optical analysis is made by Solidworks flow simulation with setting the reflector surface as ‘‘symmetry surface”. – Lids have been placed in the inlet and in the outlet of the tube in order to create a closed fluid volume. The main outputs of the simulation tool are the following: – The fluid bulk temperature in the outlet. The .80 1000 W/m2 0. – The mean cover temperature in its volume. transparency). – The reflector surface was set as ‘‘symmetry” surface. – The temperature in the internal face of the inlet lid. In addition. – The flow was selected to be fully developed in the inlet of the tube. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63 Fig. – The inner and outer cover surfaces have been selected to have the proper radiation properties (emittance. By this way. Table 1 Geometry dimensions and simulation parameters. Bellos et al. For the cover. In every case.88 0. This choice is necessary for the proper solar rays reflection. extra refinement levels were added in fluid and in partial cells.56 E. More specifically. The solar radiation was determined by its intensity and its direction through the general settings of the program. these materials are not taking part in the thermal analysis. the temperature difference between their surfaces is very low and for this reason the mean volume temperature was selected as output. in the mesh generation a standard mesh is created by selecting the basic nodes. The mesh in the computational domain was created by Solidworks and emphasis was given in the fluid domain. – The reflector has a special mirror surface.000 cells. The next important parameters that have to be taken into consideration are related with the radiation surfaces of the materials: – The absorber outer surface was selected to be selective. – The pressure of the outlet was determined in every case and is a necessary boundary condition for the flow simulation inside the tube. Different refinement levels have been tested and the convergence criterion was the fluid outlet temperature.

The optimization of the intercept factor leads to the optimization of the optical efficiency which is the goal of this analysis. the loss for small . Intercept factor for different aperture values. This leads us to select the optimum value at the critical point which is the aperture of 300 mm width. The rest of the parameters were selected to be constant. the intercept factor is decreasing something that affects directly on the optical efficiency. Other parameters as the solar radiation intensity. Table 2 Optimized geometry parameters. Fig. Moreover Fig.3 m2 2. This figure gives a strange profile for the heat flux and the reason is the complex geometry of the reflector.85 0. 6 depicts the heat flux distribution over the geometry. The next parameter is the aperture length W which is analyzed in Fig. in the down part of the absorber there are two symmetry regions (b = 145° and b = 215°) where the heat flux takes great values due to the fact that both the parabolas and the down circular part of the mirror reflect the rays to these two specific parts of the absorber.0 0. 5 and 6 show this distribution over the circular geometry of Geometry parameters Value q W H hC Aa C 21 m 300 mm 150 mm 53° 0. after the reflection on the mirror. The lower part of the receiver (b = 180°) collects the lessen radiation. It is obvious that the optical loss is getting greater as the longitudinal angle increases.95 0. It is essential to mention that in the optimum case. 40 The next step in the optical analysis is the determination of optical efficiency for different sun positions. Incident angle impact on intercept factor 1.57 E.90 0. Especially. Heat flux distribution over the receiver The next important issue about the optical analysis is the way that the heat flux is being distributed in the receiver. In no concentrating collectors. For low aperture values the intercept factor is maximized because all the reflected rays arrive to the receiver. It is obvious that there is a great region of values which lead to an optimum performance of the intercept factor. Optimization of the reflector geometry The objective of this section is to present the influence of the geometric parameters (q and W) on the intercept factor.9921 0. while the solar rays are vertical to the aperture plane (h = 0°). 4. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63 temperature of the working fluid in the inlet and the solar radiation direction were the parameters. More specifically. ð5Þ Fig. The results were taken from Solidworks for the optimum case.max the receiver. we have to calculate the local concentration ratio as Eq.8 0. It is remarkable that. 5 shows the local concentration ratio in the peripheral line of the absorber. This means that the position of the sun affects significantly on the optical efficiency. Bellos et al.9 0. 250 300 350 400 450 500 W(mm) Fig. (5) suggests below: CL ¼ dQ tube q  Ge  dA . In order to present the heat flux distribution with a dimensionless way. This distance was selected at 21 mm which is a value inside the optimum region. in order to take a smooth surface. 7 displays how the intercept factor variation as a function of the longitudinal angle. This distribution is very important because there is a great variation from point to point over the absorber. The energy balances of the thermal model are presented in Appendix A with more details. a more analytic determination of the sun position uses two angles. the shape of the down part of the CPC as well as the aperture surface value is examined by changing the q and W values respectively. a deeper analysis is needed. all the incident solar rays arrive at the tube. the line which connects the focus of each parabola to the opposite upper point is tangent to the receiver (Fig. this value for the parameter ‘‘q” makes the two circular parts to be tangent in their contact point. 1. The following Figs. Table 2 gives the final results of the optimization. when the parameter q takes values in the range of 13–26 mm. This is according to the theory which demands this condition in order to determine the optimum aperture. as it is taken by Solidworks results. 1). parametrically investigated.7937 cmax gopt. 3 depicts the effect that distance q has on the intercept factor.81 0. Intercept factor for different shapes of CPC down part. 3. For this reason. More specifically.6 200 In this paragraph the geometrical parameters which influence on the optical efficiency of the collector are investigated in order to predict the optimum values of the examined geometric parameters.7 Optical analysis 300 mm 0. 4.00 0. the incident angle is sufficient to similar calculations. in the longitudinal and in the transversal direction. the ambient temperature and the mass flow rate were kept constant. Moreover. and as a consequence on the optical efficiency.80 q=21 mm 0. because only a small part of the reflector sent rays on this region. From the above figures it is obvious that the maximum solar irradiation is concentrated on the top of the absorber (b = 0°). After a critical point. but in the concentrating collectors. This can be explained because this part collects beam radiation directly from the sun and simultaneously a part of the reflected radiation from the parabolas. Fig.75 0 5 10 15 20 q (mm) 25 30 35 Fig. fact that makes them to belong to the same cycle.

the reader is referred to the web version of this article. 6. The next analyzed angle is the transversal one which is given in the Fig.2 0. 8.6 0.58 E. the efficiency is extremely low and the system stops operating. 40 50 60 ) Fig. 8. ð6Þ It is important to state that above the value of 80°. Heat flux distribution over the absorber geometry. Fig. Incident angle as a function of the transverse solar angle. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend.0 80 0 o) 10 20 30 T( Fig. The mathematical approximation of the above curve is presented in Eq. with red the maximum values and with blue the lower values.2 0. Incident angle as a function of longitude solar angle.4 0. values of the longitudinal angle is almost inconsiderable. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63 6 5 CL 4 3 2 1 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 () Fig.8 0. (6): cðhL Þ ¼ 0:9921  4:1  104  hL  1:92  104  h2L þ 7  107  h3L .8 0.6 0.) 1. Local concentration ratio distribution in peripheral of the absorber. 5.0 0. . 7.0 0 20 40 60 L( 0.0 1.4 0. Bellos et al.

then the same temperature increase is being occurred.1 Thermal oil 1. 0. (9): _  cp  ðT out  T in Þ.2 0. 10. which is depicted in Fig. 11).59 E. cp.o ð10Þ In other worlds. Fig. (11) by using the total thermal losses. 10 shows that the heat loss coefficient (UL) takes greater values in the thermal oil case. By this assumption. Furthermore.80 th It is obvious that the intercept factor decreases abruptly for low values of the transversal angle something that makes this parameter crucial for the collector performance. according to Eq. fact that explains the non-linear behavior of Fig. the difference between the two heat loss coefficients is getting greater as the inlet fluid temperature increases something that explains the divergence in the efficiency curves for the respective operating conditions.1 0. The next equation is the approximation of the Fig. pressurized water and thermal oil. 10) is getting greater for higher fluid temperature levels. the reason for the greater receiver temperature in the thermal oil case will be presented.25 . the above correction equalizes the different into specific capacitance between the working fluids. This coefficient is depended on the receiver temperature in the fourth power.76 0 0. 8 curve: 1. 9. The ambient temperature and the solar irradiation were selected to be 10 °C and 1000 W/m2 respectively. 100 100 100 cðhT Þ ¼ 0:9921  5:46  0.2 (Tin-Tam)/Ge Fig. This is a result of the dependence between these parameters. The thermal efficiency of the collector can be calculated as the ratio of the useful energy to the solar energy entering in the collector’s aperture: ð8Þ The useful energy from the collector is calculated by the energy balance in the working fluid volume. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63  The next step after determining optical efficiency optimization is the thermal performance investigation of the examined collector. m_ o ¼ m_w  cp. since the half-acceptance angle is also 53°. an expected result. Another important parameter is the overall heat loss coefficient which can be calculated by the Eq. the mass flow rate of thermal oil is 0. 0. A deeper analysis of the heat transfer between tube and working fluid is given below. the difference in the heat loss coefficient (Fig. A tracking system is used in many applications in order to minimize the transversal angle and to achieve greater optical efficiency. 10. Emphasis is given in the heat transfer coefficient inside the tube. _  cp Þ to be the same in (10). 9 that pressurized water performs better in all cases while the difference on the efficiency is getting greater as the inlet temperature increases. This coefficient is calculated according Eq.05 0. Fig.1 0. Solidworks outputs include these thermal losses and this makes the calculations easier. The water is under a high pressure levels (35 bar) in order to be kept in liquid phase for all study cases. Efficiency curve for different operating conditions.w . More specifically. Qu ¼ m ð9Þ Thermal oil mass flow rate was determined according to Eq. because only radiation losses exist inside the evacuated tube.15 0. 11. (11): Q Loss UL ¼ . 10.05 0. The only parameter that changes is the water inlet temperature which is ranged from 10 °C to 230 °C. Ar  ðT r  T am Þ 0. This happens due to the difference in the heat losses and as a consequence in the overall heat loss coefficient between the two fluids. Two different working fluids. However.68 Water 0. The difference in this coefficient is explained by the difference in the receiver temperature. 11 proves that the absorber temperature is greater when the collector operates with thermal oil.6 In this section a comparison between the two working fluids is presented. For typical values of specific thermal capacities. (13) the heat convection coefficient: 2. The difference in absorber temperature seems to be constant between the pressurized water and thermal oil case (Fig.72 0. The properties of these fluids are taken by Solidworks library.9 0. Eq. are tested in order to make a comparison between them.25 (Tin-Tam)/Ge Water 1. something that makes the comparison better.3 0 0 0. gth ¼ 0.5 UL (W/m2K)   2 hT hT  25:96 þ 15:37  100 100  3  4  5 hT hT hT  þ 22:5   7:2  . This will make the absorber to have similar temperature in both cases.0212 kg/s.64 Thermal oil ð7Þ Thermal analysis for water and thermal oil as working fluids Qu . the specific thermal capacity was selected at 4180 kJ/kg K for water and at 1972 kJ/kg K for thermal oil. Heat loss coefficient for different operating conditions. Fig. Qs 0.15 0. if the two fluids absorb the same amount of heat.8 ð11Þ Thermal comparison of working fluids 0. The thermal oil operates in lower pressure level because it is kept in liquid phase up to 300 °C without needing a great pressure increase. Fig.2 Fig. (12) gives the mean Nusselt number for laminar flow [35] and Eq. 8 shows that after 53° no solar rays arrive on the receiver. It is obvious from Fig. 9 illustrates the thermal efficiency of the examined collector for a range of operating conditions. At this point is essential to state that a warmer absorber lead to higher heat losses and this has to been taken into consideration in the presented analysis. as it is depicted in Fig.60 Moreover. In this point. Bellos et al. fact that leads to greater overall losses and to low thermal efficiency. in order the total heat capacity ðm the two cases.

12. 1 þ 0:04  DLri  Re  Pr hm ¼ Num  k . The heat Fig. It is obvious that the heat transfer coefficient is lower for the thermal oil case. 11. 12.05 0. In Fig. (16) describes the correlation between the heat convection coefficient and the absorber temperature: T r ¼ T fm þ Table 3 Mean heat convection coefficient and other properties for working fluid. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend. It is obvious from Fig. In the center core. Qu . the peripheral temperature of the absorber in the middle of the tube is given in Fig.2 0.60 E. the temperature is lower because the heat did not manage to reach this part of the flow. 12–14. 13b. as it was referred above. 13a) and the distribution of the heat losses (Fig. Fig. it is essential to state that the variation of the temperature distribution is only 0. Fig. Receivers mean temperature for different operating conditions.8 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 () Fig. The maximum temperature is observed close to tube walls and especially in the upper and in the lower part of them.3 ( C) 108.01240 4180 1972 .9 107.0 1388 73 1. 13b) over the outer tube surface.67 0. This result makes the heat transfer fluid with higher convection coefficients to be more suitable in thermal solar applications.9 144 0. 13a shows that the temperature of the tube increases in the flow direction because the fluid is getting warmer from the inlet to the outlet. a lower heat transfer coefficient leads to a greater absorber temperature. Peripheral temperature distribution in the absorber.1 absorber 108.17 0. Additional results for operation with pressurized water 108.1 0.25 (Tin-Tam)/Ge Fig. Moreover. 13 shows the temperature distribution (Fig. Ari  hm ð16Þ This equation suggests that for a constant useful energy amount. ð14Þ ð15Þ Table 3 includes the calculated parameters for inlet temperature equal to 90 °C which is an intermediate operating temperature.   0:0668  DLri  Re  Pr Num ¼ 3:66 þ  2=3 .00031 0.0 107.2 () 108. 4m p  Dri  l l  cp k Fluid h (W/ m2 K) Nu Re Pr k (W/ m K) l (Pa s) cp (J/ kg K) Water Thermal oil 150 62 6. (a) Absorber temperature distribution. (14) and (15) show the definition of Reynolds and Prandtl number respectively: In this section. This result proves that the absorber tube temperature distribution can be approximately assumed as isothermal small rings. 14 depicts the water temperature distribution in the outlet cross-section of the tube.15 0. the optimum working fluid according to the previous analysis. Bellos et al. Dri ð12Þ ð13Þ Eqs. additional figures and diagrams are given for operation pressurized water. that the maximum temperature appears on the top of the tube where the maximum heat flux is observed (Figs. The temperature of the fluid in the inlet is equal to 90 °C for Figs. the reader is referred to the web version of this article. . 13. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63 300 Thermal oil Water 250 Re ¼ Tr (oC) 200 Pr ¼ 150 100 50 0 0 0.) . the thermal losses have a respective to the temperature distribution due to their dependency.4 °C. 12. Fig. something that is explained by the great difference in the dynamic viscosity and the thermal conductivity of thermal oil. (b) thermal losses distribution over the absorber (the red color illustrates the greater values and the blue the lower values). Firstly. 5 and 6). Eq.7 11. This temperature level is an intermediate and representative value for the collector operation.

Water temperature distribution in the outlet cross section. Fig. conductivity is the factor that determines the temperature distribution on the radial direction of the fluid cross section. a simple validation of the developed model is presented. Fig. 15 illustrates the basic points the developed numerical model.E. A simple 1-D numerical model written in the FORTRAN programming language was developed for validating the simulation results. It is obvious that the two models give similar results which . 15. Flow chart of the developed numerical model. 16 shows the validation results between model in Solidworks and model in FORTRAN. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63 61 Fig. the receiver and the cover temperature are compared for all the range of operating conditions. The validation is made for pressurized water because this is the working fluid with the better efficiency. More specifically. Bellos et al. the thermal efficiency. Fig. The main developed model is based on the energy balance in the absorber in order to determine the useful energy and the heat losses [36]. Model validation In the final part of this study. because the examined tube is short and the temperature variation along the tube is low. the heat loss coefficient. 14. The receiver and the cover are supposed to have uniform temperature levels in every case which is a good assumption.

Two different working fluids are compared in order to predict the most appropriate as a heat transfer fluid. 16. In the last part of this study. ðA:5Þ ðA:6Þ ðA:7Þ .1) and the energy delivered to the absorber by Eq.62 E. the design of this collector is analyzed in order to optimize its geometry. This finding indicates the necessity of tracking this collector in order to minimize the incident angle and mainly the transversal incident angle. Bellos et al. ðA:1Þ Q abs ¼ Q S  q  c  ðsaÞ. (A. are close to each other. ðA:4Þ Eqs.4). ðA:3Þ The energy balance in the absorber is given in Eq. cover temperature and heat loss coefficient: Q loss ¼ U L  Aro  ðT r  T am Þ. / Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 16 (2016) 53–63 Fig. (A. First of all. a small variation which leads to the assumption of isothermal tube locally. Appendix A The basic equations which describe the general energy balances are given in this appendix. Pressurized water performed better than thermal oil by giving greater efficiency in the whole operating range. The shape of the down part has not a significant role in the collector efficiency and for this reason its design is not of great interest.3): Q u ¼ m  cp  ðT out  T in Þ. Another important conclusion is that The first author would like to thank the Onassis Foundation for its financial support. (A.5)–(A. These results validate the developed model in Solidworks. From this equation is able the direct determination of heat losses: Q loss ¼ Q abs  Q u . (A. The reason for the water’s better performance is the different thermal properties of it.7) are three different ways to express the heat losses.2): Q S ¼ Aa  Ge . Q loss ¼ Aco  hca  ðT c  T am Þ þ ec  Aco  r  ðT 4c  T 4am Þ. More specifically. conductivity and dynamic viscosity. the collector tested for various incident angles at the longitude and in the transverse direction. Moreover. The goal of the optimization is the maximization of the intercept factor for zero incident angle. ðA:2Þ The useful energy that fluid absorbs is calculated by the energy balance in its volume according Eq. the absorber is getting warmer from the inlet to the outlet and the heat losses have a similar distribution. These equations lead to the receiver temperature. The final reflector geometry is optimum because all the reflected rays are delivered to the receiver which means ideal design. the temperature distribution in the absorber and in the fluid are presented for operation with pressurized water. According to the presented figures. Also. with the warmer to be closer to the tube. the water temperature in the outlet cross section is characterized by isothermal rings. the greater values of these properties in pressurized water increase the heat convection coefficient making water the most suitable working fluid. Validation results (a) thermal efficiency (b) heat loss coefficient (c) receiver temperature (d) cover temperature. the peripheral temperature distribution over the absorber has a variation of about 0. and the results show that the transversal angle variation causes a significant reduction in the optical efficiency. The results showed that the optimum aperture width is about 300 mm with a focal distance of 50 mm and a receiver diameter of 34 mm. The next part of this study is the thermal analysis of the collector in order to predict the efficiency for different operating conditions.4 K. Conclusions Acknowledgments In this study a detailed analysis of a CPC collector is presented. (A. Q loss ¼ r  Aro  ðT 4r  T 4c Þ 1 er þ 1ecec  AAroci . The energy potential of the solar energy is given by Eq.

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