Promising freeze protection alternatives in solar domestic hot water systems

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Since the gains associated with solar thermal energy technologies are comparatively small in relation to the required capital investment, it is vital to maximize conversion efficiency. While providing the necessary function of freeze protection, the heat exchanger commonly included in solar domestic water heating systems represents a system inefficiency. This thesis explores two alternate methods of providing freeze protection without resorting to a heat exchanger. Commonly, collectors are made of rigid copper tubes separated by copper or aluminum fins. Cracking damage can occur when water is allowed to freeze and expand inside the non compliant tubes. The possibility of making ... continued below

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194 p.

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Bradley, D.E. December 31, 1997.

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Description

Since the gains associated with solar thermal energy technologies are comparatively small in relation to the required capital investment, it is vital to maximize conversion efficiency. While providing the necessary function of freeze protection, the heat exchanger commonly included in solar domestic water heating systems represents a system inefficiency. This thesis explores two alternate methods of providing freeze protection without resorting to a heat exchanger. Commonly, collectors are made of rigid copper tubes separated by copper or aluminum fins. Cracking damage can occur when water is allowed to freeze and expand inside the non compliant tubes. The possibility of making collectors out of an elastic material was investigated and shown to be effective. Since unlike copper, elastomers typically have low thermal conductivities, the standard collector performance prediction equations do not apply. Modified thermal performance prediction equations were developed which can be used for both low and high thermal conductivity materials to provide accurate predictions within a limited range of plate geometries. An elastomeric collector plate was then designed and shown to have comparable performance to a copper plate collector whose aperture area is approximately 33% smaller. Another options for providing freeze protection to an SDHW system is to turn it off during the winter. Choosing a three-season operating period means two things. First, the system will have different optimums such as slope and collector area. Second, the wintertime solar energy incident on the collector is unavailable for meeting a heating load. However, the system`s heat exchanger becomes unnecessary and removing it increases the amount of energy that arrives at the storage tank during those periods in which the system is operating.

Physical Description

194 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE98003042

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  • Other Information: TH: Thesis (M.S.)

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  • Other: DE98003042
  • Report No.: DOE/SF/15303--52
  • Grant Number: FG03-84SF15303
  • DOI: 10.2172/578643 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 578643
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc690324

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 31, 1997

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  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Nov. 13, 2015, 10:46 p.m.

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Bradley, D.E. Promising freeze protection alternatives in solar domestic hot water systems, thesis or dissertation, December 31, 1997; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc690324/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.