Validation of a simple dynamic thermal performance characterization model based on the piston flow concept for flat-plate solar collectors

Jie Deng, Ming Yang, Rongjiang Ma, Xiaolin Zhu, Jianhua Fan, Guofeng Yuan, Zhifeng Wang

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Abstract

A simple dynamic characterization model of flat-plate solar collectors based on the piston flow concept is used both to identify the collector characteristic parameters and to predict the dynamic thermal performance. The heat transport time originally defined as (1 − e−1)−1τC by Amrizal et al. (2012) for the model turns out to be the collector static response time constant τC by analytical derivation. The nonlinear least squares method is applied to determine the characteristic parameters of a flat-plate solar air collector previously tested by the authors. Then the obtained parameters are used to predict the dynamic behavior of the collector outlet temperature. The model coefficients particularly c3 in the simple dynamic characterization model are examined by the collector dynamic prediction under variable meteorological conditions. Meanwhile, the prediction accuracy of the simple dynamic model based on the first-order difference method is compared to that of the numerical solution of the collector ordinary differential equation (ODE) model using the fourth-order Runge-Kutta method. The improved thermal inertia model (TIM) on the basis of closed-form solution presented by Deng et al. (2016a) is also considered. The results show that the prediction performance of the simple dynamic model is nearly as accurate as the ODE numerical solution and the TIM by Deng et al. (2016a) except some special conditions such as sharply changed solar irradiance and collector inlet temperature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSolar Energy
Volume139
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
ISSN0038-092x
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Dynamic thermal performance model
  • Flat-plate solar collector
  • Ordinary differential equation (ODE)
  • Piston flow concept

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