International Scientific Journal

Thermal Science - Online First

online first only

Performance comparison of aboveground and underground solar ponds

This paper deals with the modeling of two different solar ponds which has some different structural parameters such as aboveground and underground, and its performance evaluation. The solar pond system generally consists of three zones, and the densities of these zones decrease from the bottom of the pond to the surface. The most significant decrease in the density distribution of the salt between bottom and up of the pond is the gradient zone. The convective heat loss in the solar pond is prevented with this zone. In this study, aboveground and underground solar ponds were modeled at the same dimensions, but different structural parameters in the same conditions. In this model, the temperature distributions of the solar pond were obtained during a year. The thermal performances of the solar pond were calculated and the results were compared with an experiment. This study shows that the efficiency of the aboveground solar pond is observed to be a maximum of 25.93% in July, a minimum of 4.53% in January. Furthermore, the efficiency of the underground solar pond is observed to be a maximum of 21.49% in July, a minimum of 6.55% in January. This study indicates that the underground construction of solar ponds, designed to be insulated using appropriate insulation materials, is found to be more efficient with respect to the aboveground pond.
PAPER REVISED: 2016-09-26
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2016-10-11
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