Abstract

Solar energy, a topic popular in the United States during the oil embargo of the 1970’s, has become a relevant topic once more with the current focus on reducing greenhouse emissions. Solar thermal energy in particular has become popular as it uses existing steam turbine technology to produce electricity, with the benefit of using solar energy to produce steam rather than coal or nuclear heat sources. Solar thermal can also be used at lower temperatures to heat water for pools or for residential use. While this energy source has its benefits, it has the problem of being opportunistic – the energy must be used as it is captured. With the integration of storage, a solar thermal system becomes more viable for use. In this work, a low temperature (50-70o C) thermal storage unit with a solar thermal collector is experimentally run then studied using both analytical and numerical methods. With these methods, suggestions for future developments of the storage unit are made. The prototype collector and storage combination tested worked best during the winter months, when there was low humidity. Furthermore, the heat exchanger design within the storage unit was found to work well for charging (heating) the unit, but not for discharging the storage to heat water. The best modeling method for the storage unit was the use of FLUENT, which would allow for the suggested changes to the prototype to be simulated before the next prototype was constructed.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2010

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Kapat, Jay

Degree

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

College

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Department

Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Thermofluids

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0003260

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0003260

Language

English

Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic

Included in

Engineering Commons

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