Enhancement of Convective Heat Transfer within the Parabolic Trough Collector Using Vibrations - an Introductory Numerical Analysis

Krzysztof Grzywnowicz, Łukasz Bartela, Leszek Remiorz, Bartosz Stanek


Energy generation systems basing on renewable energy sources (RES) are characterized with rapidly growing share of global power and heat market. Majority of such systems are suited to and applied within the distributed energy sector, including i.e. distributed heat production. Individual users and local low-power plants, using solar thermal devices to prepare domestic hot water, cold or support their heating network, state significant number between all users of discussed technology. Nevertheless, vital variability of solar irradiance makes it difficult to harvest efficiently, especially considering longer time periods, as months or years. Therefore, maximization of heat acquired from single solar thermal device in a moment of high radiation flux might vitally influence grow in overall, year-averaged operational parameters of such units. The paper discusses computational research on enhancement of convective heat transfer, taking place within the absorber of a parabolic trough collector (PTC), induced by vibrations of immersed flat plate. The investigation covers identification of influence of different amplitudes and frequencies of oscillatory motion on the absorber's parameters, as well as their comparison with classical absorber's construction and the other flow turbulization method. Results indicate limited application of vibrations to enhance operational parameters of solar thermal absorbers, with the best results obtained for thermal fluid flows below 0.1 dm3/s.


Concentrated solar power; Parabolic trough collector; Heat transfer enhancement; Convection intensification

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