Movement and mechanical stresses in sealed, flat plate solar collectors
Journal article, 2011
This article describes movements and mechanical stresses in sealed, gas-filled, flat plate solar collectors. The advantage of a sealed space between a collector absorber and glass cover is that it (i) eliminates the influence of humidity condensation and dust and (ii) it lowers the heat losses when the enclosed space is filled with a suitable gas at normal pressure. However as the solar collector temperature varies, volume and pressure changes cause movement and mechanical stresses. In this study, the finite element method was used to determine movements and mechanical stresses. Several geometries were analyzed and it was found that the stresses in the investigated collectors are a factor 2–4 below the critical stress levels. Furthermore, it was found to be possible to reduce the stresses and improve the factor of safety by (i) using a larger area and/or reducing the distance between the glass and the absorber and/or (ii) changing the length and
width so the tubes are longer.
flat plate solar collector