Acetone, Solar energy
An analysis of an operational industrial acetone reclamation system is performed to ascertain the possibility of its adaptation of solar thermal energy augmentation using fixed orientation, flat plate solar collectors. Currently, the system utilizes and oil fired heater for the thermal input. The water is heated to 185°F (85°C) and circulated through a heat exchanger which is immersed within the contaminated acetone solution. The solvent is thereby vaporized, condensed, and drawn off for reuse. Analytical models of two possible configurations utilizing a series of commercially available, flat plate solar collectors, a hot water storage tank, and an oil fired auxiliary are developed. The resulting differential equation is written in finite difference form and integrated with an iterative numerical algorithm. Program listings are included for the solution of this problem on a Texas Instruments, SR-56 programmable calculator. Results of the analysis indicate that annual fuel savings of between 11 and 31 percent can be realized (compared to present non-solar operation) by the use of 6 to 16 collectors respectively. Based on an "ideal" day's performance, an economic analysis is given which recommends the use of 16 collectors for the present system. At current fuel, equipment, and fuel cost increase rates, the rate of return attained from the system retro-fit investment is commensurate with that available under a low risk savings investment. Therefore, an economic justification for conversion of the system to solar energy is marginal under the present conditions. A sensitivity analysis is included that indicates the conditions necessary for economic justification. Specifically, if the current collector cost was reduced by 65 percent, the solar system configuration would yield an acceptable rate of return on the investment.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Acetone, Solar energy
Litka, Arthur H., "Application of Solar Energy to the Solvent Reclamation Industry" (1976). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 232.