International Scientific Journal


A new design of solar air heater with triangle cross-section is numerically studied. The thermal performance of solar air heater is studied at various mass-flow rates, inlet air temperatures, and solar irradiation intensities. The CFD model is developed using the software ANSYS FLUENT to study the fluid-flow and heat transfer in the solar air heater. The 3-D discretization is applied to study the thermal performance of solar collector with triangle cross-section. Mesh independence is performed in order to choose the adequate mesh. The discrete ordinate radiation model and the RNG k-ε turbulence model are used to study the radiative heat transfer and the turbulent flow inside the solar air heater. Particularly, effects of different internal peak angles (145°,126°, 100°, 80°, and 67.5°) under different solar irradiation intensities (from 620-1081 W/m2) are studied to improve the thermal performance of the solar air heater. The results show a good agreement between the numerical model and the experimental data with an average error of 6%. The maximum outlet air temperature of the solar air heater reached 72 °C for the geometries with 12 and 16 channels (internal peak angles of 80° and 67.5°, respectively) under mass-flow rate of 0.0264 kg/s. The thermal performances of the solar air heater with 16 and 12 channels are 24.2% higher than standard geometry, respectively for solar irradiation intensity of 1081 W/m2. The configuration with internal peak angle of 80° and 12 channels is selected as the optimal with a thermal efficiency of 79%, a low pressure drops compared to geometry with 16 channels and lower costs.
PAPER REVISED: 2022-12-20
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2022-12-26
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THERMAL SCIENCE YEAR 2023, VOLUME 27, ISSUE Issue 5, PAGES [4007 - 4019]
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