Effect of Radiative Filling Gas in Compound Parabolic Solar Energy Collectors

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


In the present paper, the use of radiating gas instead of air inside the cavity of compound parabolic collectors (CPSs) is suggested and verified by numerical analysis. The collector under study has a simple cone shape with flat absorber which is filled with a participating gas such as carbon dioxide instead of air for the purpose of increasing the thermal performance. In numerical simulation, the continuity, momentum and energy equations for the steady natural convection laminar gas flow in the CPC’s cavity and the conduction equation for glass cover and absorber plate were solved by the finite element method (FEM) using the COMSOL multi-physics. Because of the radiative term in the gas energy equation, the intensity of radiation in participating gas flow should be computed. Toward this end, the radiative transfer equation (RTE) was solved by the discrete ordinate method (DOM), considering both diffuse and collimated radiations. The  approximation was employed in calculation of the diffuse part of radiation. It was observed that the gas radiation causes high temperature with more uniform distribution inside the cavity of collector. Also, numerical results reveal more than 3% increase in the rate of heat transfer from absorber surface into working fluid and hence a desired performance for the collector because of the gas radiation effect.  Comparison between the present numerical results with theoretical and experimental data reported in the literature showed good consistency.


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