Simulation of flow inside the storage tank and piping of a thermosyphon type solar water heater

Fourie, Tinus von Gericke (2016-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Even though Southern Africa has some of the highest solar resource in the world, solar water heaters are not as widely implemented as elsewhere on the planet. Reasons for this include the high upfront costs. Also, a possible opportunity for job creation is missed since the majority of currently installed systems are imported from abroad. In an attempt to encourage research among Southern African students and development within industry, the question was posed: How well can a one-dimensional, finite-volume computational model derived from first principle capture the flow inside a thermosyphon type solar water heater? Two such models are here developed and validated. The first simulates flow inside the thermosyphon loop. The second simulates the hot water storage tank by modelling plume formation and entrainment. By comparison with experimental data, it was found that the thermosyphon loop model corresponds well, while improvement is encouraged on the plume model. This considered, it was the conclusion that a one-dimensional, finite-volume model can indeed capture the flow within a thermosyphon type solar water heater.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suider-Afrika het van die rykste son hulpbronne op die planeet. Ten spyte van hierdie feit word sonkrag warmwatertoestelle nie so baie gebruik soos in ander streke nie. ’n Moontlike rede hiervoor is die duur aanvanklike koste. Nog ’n belangrike aspek is dat meeste van hierdie toestelle nie in Suider Afrika vervaardig word nie. Talle werke wat sou kon geskep word daardeur lei hieronder. Om dus verdere navorsing onder beide studente en in industrie aan te moedig, word hierdie vraag gestel: How goed kan ’n eendimensionele, eindige-volume rekenaarmodel die vloei binne ’n natuurlike-vloei-tipe sonkrag warmwatertoestel vasvang? Twee sulke modelle word hier ontwikkel. Die een behels die vloei in ’n natuurlike-vloei-lus. Die ander simuleer pluim-vorming binne ’n warmwater tenk. Dit is bevind dat die eerste model goed korreleer met eksperimentele resultate, terwyl die tweede verbetering verg. Nietemin is die finale bevinding dat ’n eendimensionele, eindige-volume rekenaarmodel wel die vloei binne ’n natuurlike-vloei-tipe sonkrag warmwatertoestel vasvang.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98622
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