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Experiments were conducted on a thermosyphon type flat plate collector, inclined at 45°, for water heating application. Water and water based nanofluids were used as absorber fluid to gain heat from solar rays incident on the flat plate col-lector. Nanofluids were prepared by adding CuO nanoparticles of 40-50 nm size to the base fluid at 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.5 wt% (ζ). The hot absorber fluid was made to circulate in the shell side of a heat exchanger, placed at the top of the flat plate collector, where utility water was circulated inside a helically coiled Cu tube. Temperatures at strategic locations in the flat plate collector, working fluid, utility water inlet and outlet were measured. The nanofluid increases the collector efficiency with increasing ζ. A highest efficiency enhancement of 5.7% was observed for the nanofluid with ζ = 0.2 having a mass flow rate of 0.0033 kg/s. The 3-D, steady-state, conjugate heat transfer CFD analyses were carried out using the ANSYS FLUENT 15.0 software. Theoretically estimated buoyancy induced fluid flow rates were close with the CFD predictions and thus validates the computational methodology.
PAPER REVISED: 2015-12-28
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2016-01-11
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THERMAL SCIENCE YEAR 2017, VOLUME 21, ISSUE Issue 6, PAGES [2757 - 2768]
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