Flat plate collectors have relatively low efficiency at the typical supply temperatures of district heating networks (70–95 °C). Parabolic trough collectors retain their high efficiency at these temperatures. To maximize the advantages of flat plate collectors and parabolic trough collectors in large solar heating plants for a district heating network, a hybrid solar collector field with 5960 m2 flat plate collectors and 4039 m2 parabolic trough collectors in series was constructed in Taars, Denmark. The design principle is that the flat plate collectors preheat the return water from the district heating network to about 70 °C and then the parabolic trough collectors would heat the preheated water to the required supply temperature of the district heating network. Annual measured and simulated thermal performances of both the parabolic trough collector field and the flat plate collector field are presented in this paper. The thermal performance of both collector fields with weather data of a Design Reference Year was simulated to have a whole understanding of the application of both collectors under Danish climate conditions as well. These results not only can provide a design basis for this type of hybrid solar district heating plants with flat plate collectors and parabolic trough collectors in the Nordic region, but also introduce a novel design concept of solar district heating plants to other high solar radiation areas.
- Solar district heating plants
- Parabolic trough collectors
- Flat plate collectors
- Thermal performance