Development of a hot water tank simulation program with improved prediction of thermal stratification in the tank

Jianhua Fan, Simon Furbo, Hongqiang Yue

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Abstract

A simulation program SpiralSol was developed in previous investigations to calculate thermal performance of a solar domestic hot water (SDHW) system with a hot water tank with a built-in heat exchanger spiral [1]. The simulation program is improved in the paper in term of prediction of thermal stratification in the tank. The transient fluid flow and heat transfer in the hot water tank during cooling caused by standby heat loss are investigated by validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations. Detailed CFD investigations are carried out to determine the influence of thickness and material property of the tank wall on thermal stratification in the tank. It is elucidated how thermal stratification in the tank is influenced by the natural convection and how the heat loss from the tank sides will be distributed at different levels of the tank at different thermal conditions. The existing equation of the heat loss removal factor used in SpiralSol is evaluated by means of the detailed CFD calculations. A generalized new equation for the heat loss removal factor is obtained by regression. The new equation calculates the heat loss removal factor for a given temperature gradient in the tank, taking into account the influences of tank volume, height to diameter ratio, tank insulation, thickness and material property of the tank and initial thermal conditions of the tank. The equation is validated for a tank volume between 150 l and 500 l, a tank height to tank diameter ratio of 1-5, a tank wall thickness of 1.5 mm to 3 mm for a stainless steel tank and a tank wall thickness of between 3 mm to 5 mm for a normal steel tank. Accuracy and reliability of the SpiralSol program with the improved prediction of heat loss removal factor will be examined in future investigations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Procedia
Volume70
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages8
ISSN1876-6102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event3rd International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry - China National Convention Center, Beijing, China
Duration: 13 Oct 201415 Oct 2014
Conference number: 3
http://www.shc2014.org/cms/home.html

Conference

Conference3rd International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry
Number3
LocationChina National Convention Center
Country/TerritoryChina
CityBeijing
Period13/10/201415/10/2014
Internet address

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

Keywords

  • Hot water tank
  • Thermal stratification
  • Tank simulation program
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Heat loss removal factor

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