Parabolic Solar Collector with Nano Fluid, Paper Numerical Validation, ANSYS Fluent Tutorial
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- The problem numerically simulates the Parabolic Solar Collector with Nano Fluid using ANSYS Fluent software.
- We design the 3-D model by the Design Modeler software.
- We Mesh the model by ANSYS Meshing software.
- The mesh type is Structured, and the element number equals 1475000.
- This project is Validated with a reference Article.
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The present problem simulates heat transfer within a tube of a parabolic solar collector containing water flow.
This numerical simulation has been done based on the reference paper “Thermal performance analysis of solar parabolic trough collector using nanofluid as working fluid: A CFD modeling study,” and the results have been compared and validated with the results in the article by ANSYS Fluent software.
In fact, in the current model, there is a tube with a water flow that is exposed to solar energy. Behind the tube, a parabolic plate absorbs the solar radiant energy, which is responsible for absorbing heat energy from the sun’s radiation and then reflecting it.
In this case, only the water-flowing pipe is modeled; Thus, the wall of the water pipe is divided into two parts, the upper and lower wall. Also, the wall of the water pipe is made of aluminum.
The inlet water flow to the pipe has a Reynolds of 30,000 and a temperature of 320 K, which according to the relationship between the Reynolds number and the number of thermophysical properties of the water fluid, the value of the water flow inlet velocity is equal to 0.5024043 m/s.
The present model is designed in three dimensions using Design Modeler software. The geometry consists of a tube drawn in a semi-cylindrical shape.
Due to its symmetrical structure, The tube consists of two parts, the thin outer layer which acts as the solid wall of the tube and the inner part which acts as the fluid conduit. The pipe has an internal diameter of 0.06 m and a length of 2 m, which has a thickness of 0.002 m.
The meshing has been done using ANSYS Meshing software, and the mesh type is Structured. The element number is 1475000.
Parabolic Solar Collector Methodology
Based on the relationships in the paper, it is assumed that the pipe wall has a constant heat flux in both its upper and lower parts; So that for the upper wall, the heat flux is equal to 750 W/m2, and for the lower wall, the heat flux is equal to 19500 W/m2.
Parabolic Solar Collector Conclusion
The main purpose of this simulation is to investigate the Nusselt number. At the end of the solution process, the value of the Nusselt number is calculated, compared, and validated with the Nusselt values in the reference article.
The amount of surface Nusselt corresponding to the contact boundary between the fluid and the pipe wall is calculated using the REPORT command. Since, according to the paper, the value of the Nusselt number is obtained in the area of fully developed flow.
The present numerical simulation also focuses on the value of the Nusselt number at the end of the pipe where the flow is developed.
The table below shows the amount of Nusselt number on the contact surface between water and pipe, which is obtained in different pipe sections and at different distances from the outlet section of the pipe.
Then the value of the Nusselt number of the article is obtained according to the diagram of Figure 4 of the article and in the value of Reynolds equal to 30,000 of this figure.
Comparing the amount of surface Nusselt at different sections at the ending areas of the pipe with the amount of Nusselt in the article indicates that the closer we get to the end of the pipe and the area with the developed flow, the accuracy of the solution and the validation of the present simulation becomes more valid.
Two-dimensional and three-dimensional contours of pressure, velocity, and temperature are also obtained. Two-dimensional contours are drawn in the symmetrical cross-section of the model.