Thermal and mechanical performance of sealed, gas-filled, flat plate solar collectors
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2012
The study includes calculations for both the thermal performance and the mechanical behaviour of a gas-filled, flat plate solar collector without external gas expansion, i.e., a collector with varying gas volume and gas pressure and movement in both cover glass and absorber. Classical theories for the thermal performance are combined with a finite-element method to investigate which factors have an
impact from the mechanical stress point of view.
This article describes major results for collectors with copper and aluminium absorbers combined with different inert gases. It is shown that a collector may be designed which uses less material than a standard collector but achieves at least the same thermal performance, by using a thinner collector and a thinner absorber and a suitable gas filling other than air. If copper is used in absorber and tubes, a 0.15 mm thick absorber together with a tube-to-tube distance of 103 mm results in the same performance as a 0.3 mm absorber with a 144 mm tube-to-tube distance, but the former will use 25% less material. The use of copper can be further reduced if the absorber is made of aluminium and the tubes are made of copper. The factor of safety for thick (>0.5 mm) aluminium absorbers is, however, not as large as it is for copper absorbers.
flat plate solar collector