Performance investigation of a passive solar-assisted kiln in the United Kingdom

Hughes, Ben Richard and Oates, Michael (2011) Performance investigation of a passive solar-assisted kiln in the United Kingdom. Solar Energy, 85 (7). pp. 1488-1498. ISSN 0038-092X

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    Solar kilns have been existence for many years in various forms. Recently the advent of increased energy costs has led to new low energy solar powered technologies being incorporated to kiln designs to enhance their performance capabilities. However before applying new technologies it is necessary to investigate the basic kiln design. The basic kiln design is considered for the temperate climate of the United Kingdom (UK), using Computational Fluid Dynamics, validated through experimental investigation. This investigation considers whether the basic kiln design is adequate for the UK climate, with respect to sunshine hours and temperature. Key performance indicators of the kiln namely overall heat loss, air flow and temperature distribution, are analysed and reported here. The results of this work found that the low heat loss of the kiln highlights enormous potential of the lightweight structure to optimise the suns potential within a temperate climate such as the UK. Moreover the basic design is modified to demonstrate the effect of introducing natural ventilation strategies to the kiln and their effect on performance.