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research-article

Improved Modeling for Calculating Instantaneous Efficiency of Flat-Plate Solar Collector

[+] Author and Article Information
Oussama Ibrahim

Faculty of Engineering, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
oibrahimul@hotmail.com

Farouk Fardoun

University Institute of Technology, Department GIM, Lebanese University, Saida, Lebanon
ffardoun@ul.edu.lb

Rafic Younes

Faculty of Engineering, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
ryounes@ul.edu.lb

Mohamad Ibrahim

Univ Grenoble Alpes, CEA, LITEN, Department of Solar Technologies, INES, F-38000 Grenoble, France
mohamad.ibrahim@cea.fr

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038827 History: Received February 07, 2017; Revised November 07, 2017

Abstract

The performance of a flat-plate solar collector is usually investigated by its efficiency. This efficiency is normally defined on a steady-state basis, which makes it difficult to correctly track the instantaneous performance of the collector in various case-studies. Accordingly, this paper proposes an improved definition of instantaneous efficiency of a flat-plate solar collector used as a part of a solar water heating system. Using a pre-developed model by the authors for such a system, the proposed efficiency-definition is examined and compared with the conventional one for a specific case study. Results show that the improved definition of efficiency records reasonable values, i.e. no over-range values are observed contrast to the case of conventional efficiency-definition. Furthermore, this suggested efficiency approximately coincides with the conventional one at a wide range of time, as long as the system is operating in the so-called trans-steady state phase or when the system is off-operational provided that the instantaneous rate of heat stored in heat transfer fluid is less than or equal to zero. As a result, the improved efficiency-definition yields more realistic results in reflecting the performance of a flat-plate collector in an active solar water heating system and is recommended to be used.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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