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Optimization of thermal efficiency of solar flat-plate collectors using Matlab

Grant number: 15/08440-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Thermal Engineering
Principal researcher:Santiago del Rio Oliveira
Grantee:Vinícius Geromél Meneghetti
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia (FE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil


Solar energy is becoming an alternative in front of the scarcity of fossil fuel reserves. One of the simplest and most direct applications of this energy is the conversion of solar radiation into heat, which can be used in water heating systems. A solar heating system widely used is the solar flat plate collector. A lot of research has been done in order to analyze the operation of a solar flat plate collector and increase their thermal efficiency. The aim of this research project is to use Matlab to perform a multivariable optimization of thermal efficiency function of a flat plate solar collector. In the thermal efficiency function can be varied six dimensions of a flat plate solar collector: thickness of insulation at the base, the lateral insulation thickness, distance between tubes, the tube inner diameter, the tube outer diameter and thickness of the absorber plate. A computational routine in MATLAB for the thermal efficiency function in order to simultaneously optimize these six dimensions for a set of known variables of a collector will be developed. The numerically calculated thermal efficiency can then be compared with values given for commercial collectors. After this, a study of the influence of each of the six dimensions in thermal efficiency will be done. The results of this study can be used for the design of solar flat plate collectors more efficient and with lower cost. (AU)

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