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The charging behaviour of smart solar tanks for solar combisystems for one-family houses is investigated with detailed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements. The smart solar tank can be charged with a variable auxiliary volume fitted to the expected future energy demand. Therefore the heat loss from the tank is decreased and the thermal performance of the solar heating system is increased compared to a traditional system with a fixed auxiliary volume. The solar tank can be charged either by an electric heating element situated in the tank or by an electric heating element in a side-arm mounted on the side of the tank. Detailed CFD models of the smart tanks are built with different mesh densities in the tank and in the side-arm. The thermal conditions of the tank during charging are calculated with the CFD models. The fluid flow and temperature calculations are compared to PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) measurements of fluid flows and temperature measurements. The aim is to elucidate the temperature distribution and thermal stratification of the tank during charging. It is elucidated how the calculated temperatures in the tank are influenced by the mesh densities, the distribution of computational cells, the physical model and time steps used in the simulations. The findings of the investigations will be used as guidance for creation of CFD models for optimal design of smart solar tanks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of EuroSun 2010 : International Conference on Solar Heating, Coolings and Buildings
Publication date2010
ISBN (Print)978-3-901425-13-4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Conference on Solar Heating, Cooling and Buildings - Graz, Austria
Duration: 28 Sep 20101 Oct 2010


ConferenceInternational Conference on Solar Heating, Cooling and Buildings
Internet address


  • Smart Solar Tanks, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Particle Image Velocimetry, Charging Behaviour


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