Experimental study of temperature stratification in an integrated collector-storage solar water heater with two horizontal tanks

Madhlopa, A. and Mgawi, R. and Taulo, J. (2006) Experimental study of temperature stratification in an integrated collector-storage solar water heater with two horizontal tanks. Solar Energy, 80 (8). pp. 989-1002. ISSN 0038-092X

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    Abstract

    The effect of tank-interconnection geometry on temperature stratification in an integrated collector-storage solar water (ICSSW) heater with two horizontal cylindrical tanks has been studied. The tanks were parallel to each other, and separated horizontally and vertically, with the lower tank fitted directly below a glass cover, and half of the upper tank insulated. In addition, a truncated parabolic concentrator was fitted below the tanks, with its focal line along the axis of the upper tank. The heater was tested outdoors with the two tanks connected in parallel (P), and S1-and S2-series configurations, with and without hot water draw-off. Water temperature was monitored during solar collection and hot water draw-offs. For the heat charging process, it was found that only the lower tank exhibited temperature stratification in the P-and S1-tank modes of operation. There was satisfactory temperature stratification in both tanks in the S2-tank configuration. For the hot water draining process, the P-tank configuration exhibited some degree of stratification in both tanks. A significant loss of stratification was observed in the lower tank, with the upper tank exhibiting practical stratification, when the system was operated in the S1-tank mode. The S2-tank interconnection maintained a satisfactory degree of temperature stratification in both tanks. So, the S2-tank mode of operation was most effective in promoting practical temperature stratification in both tanks during solar collection and hot water draw-offs. Other results are presented and discussed in this paper.