SIMULATION STUDY OF A LARGE SCALE FLAT PLATE SOLAR COLLECTOR WITH CONTINUOUS SERPENTINE TUBING CONFIGURATION FOR DOMESTIC HOT WATER PRE-HEATING AND SPACE HEATING APPLICATIONS
Authors: Khan, Z. and Wen, Z.
Start date: 2 July 2017
Research has shown that solar energy technologies can be integrated with residential buildings to transform them into mini power stations generating clean energy sustainably for cost savings and CO2 reduction. This paper presents a TRNSYS simulation study of a large scale flat plate solar collector (LSFPSC) with serpentine tubing that can be fully integrated into residential buildings. TRNSYS model was designed and validated based on the experimental performance data acquired from flat plate collector and then this model was deployed to simulate the performance of 10 installations of LSFPSCs with a total collector area of 20m2.
During the simulation typical meteorological year (TMY) weather data from 36 various locations in 22 countries was employed. These locations were selected based on the Koppen-Geiger Climate Classification to include varying climate types to assess the performance of the LSFPSC under diverse weather conditions. For each climate type, two locations were selected to compare the gradients in performance due to variable solar irradiance on different latitudes and longitudes. Simulation results showed that the LSFPSC is capable of generating significant useful energy outputs, averaged 1.29 GJ/m2/year for the glazed configuration and 1.00 GJ/m2/year for the unglazed configuration across the selected locations. This indicates its high suitability for deployment as cost effective and efficient technological solution for large-scale solar energy utilisation in majority of regions around the world. The economic evaluation results showed that the LSFPSC has much shorter payback period of 2.4 to 6.5 years than the typical commercial flat plate collectors which is 8 to 12 years, indicating that the LSFPSC is an economical solution for low to medium temperature applications.