Parabolic trough collector is one of the most usual solar collectors for applications up to 400 °C. The thermal enhancement of this collector concentrates a lot of interest and various techniques are tested in order for the thermal efficiency to be maximized with a reasonable penalty in the pressure drop. The use of nanofluids as working fluids, as well as the use of flow turbulators, mainly inserts and internal fins or tube dimples are the main techniques which are examined. The objective of this work is to give a complete literature review of the existing studies on this domain and to present a numerical comparative analysis between the most usual thermal enhancement techniques. More specifically, the use of oil-based nanofluids with 6% CuO is compared with the use of internal rectangular fins in the absorber, while the combination of these techniques is also examined. The analysis is conducted with a validated CFD model in SolidWorks Flow Simulation for various fluid temperature levels. According to the final results, the use of nanofluids leads to 0.76% thermal efficiency enhancement, the use of internal fins to 1.10% and the combination of these techniques to 1.54%. Moreover, emphasis is given in the pressure drop of the examined cases and in the evaluation criteria which are used in every case.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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