Nanofluid-based direct absorption solar collector

Todd P. Otanicar, Patrick Phelan, Ravi S. Prasher, Gary Rosengarten, Robert A. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

477 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Solar energy is one of the best sources of renewable energy with minimal environmental impact. Direct absorption solar collectors have been proposed for a variety of applications such as water heating; however the efficiency of these collectors is limited by the absorption properties of the working fluid, which is very poor for typical fluids used in solar collectors. It has been shown that mixing nanoparticles in a liquid (nanofluid) has a dramatic effect on the liquid thermophysical properties such as thermal conductivity. Nanoparticles also offer the potential of improving the radiative properties of liquids, leading to an increase in the efficiency of direct absorption solar collectors. Here we report on the experimental results on solar collectors based on nanofluids made from a variety of nanoparticles (carbon nanotubes, graphite, and silver). We demonstrate efficiency improvements of up to 5% in solar thermal collectors by utilizing nanofluids as the absorption mechanism. In addition the experimental data were compared with a numerical model of a solar collector with direct absorption nanofluids. The experimental and numerical results demonstrate an initial rapid increase in efficiency with volume fraction, followed by a leveling off in efficiency as volume fraction continues to increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033102
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

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Solar collectors
Nanoparticles
Volume fraction
Liquids
Fluids
Solar energy
Environmental impact
Numerical models
Carbon nanotubes
Thermal conductivity
Silver
Graphite
Thermodynamic properties
Heating
Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Cite this

Otanicar, T. P., Phelan, P., Prasher, R. S., Rosengarten, G., & Taylor, R. A. (2010). Nanofluid-based direct absorption solar collector. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 2(3), [033102]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3429737

Nanofluid-based direct absorption solar collector. / Otanicar, Todd P.; Phelan, Patrick; Prasher, Ravi S.; Rosengarten, Gary; Taylor, Robert A.

In: Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Vol. 2, No. 3, 033102, 01.05.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Otanicar, Todd P. ; Phelan, Patrick ; Prasher, Ravi S. ; Rosengarten, Gary ; Taylor, Robert A. / Nanofluid-based direct absorption solar collector. In: Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. 2010 ; Vol. 2, No. 3.
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