Assessment of a multiple port storage tank in a CPC-driven solar process heat system

Citation:
Abd Elfadeel, S. M., H. Amein, M. M. El-Bakry, and M. A. Hassan, "Assessment of a multiple port storage tank in a CPC-driven solar process heat system", Renewable Energy, vol. 180: Elsevier Ltd, pp. 860 - 873, 2021///.

Abstract:

Sensible thermal energy storage is the most common solution for small-to-medium solar process heat systems. Hence, it is vital to enhance the thermal stratification and energy utilization of stratified tanks. In this study, four process heat systems are dynamically simulated: 1) S0 with a single outlet port to the load, 2) S1 with a single port and a thermostatic mixing valve, 3) M0 with multiple ports, and 4) M1 with multiple ports and a mixing valve. Two novel models are proposed for the compound parabolic collectors and the stratified tanks. System M1, with annual system efficiency of 47.3% and solar fraction of 0.57, was found to be the best-performing one, followed by S1, M0, and S0. System M1 also reduced the annual energy consumption of the backup heater in S0 by 16.45%. The thermostatic mixing valve reduced the thermocline thickness. The incorporation of both mixing valve and multiple ports delayed the startup of the heater, reduced the system's thermal losses, and slightly improved the collectors' efficiencies. The proposed tank model can be a viable tool for solar energy designers to optimize the number and relative positions of the inlet and outlet ports for maximized system efficiency and solar coverage.

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