In this project, a solar collector has been simulated using Fluent software. The solar thermal collector is a modern, economical, and sustainable method for producing thermal energy. This system heats the fluid using solar energy and is used for heating homes, industrial processes, heating water in hotels, and heating and cooling systems. Solar collectors collect solar energy, which produces thermal energy by absorbing solar thermal radiation. These collectors have high-resistance transparent glass coatings against unfavorable external conditions.
Generally, a solar collector is a heat exchanger that converts solar energy into heat. In conventional heat exchangers, energy transfer occurs through a fluid to another fluid, but in solar collectors, energy transfer occurs through radiation to a fluid. In this project, water is used as the fluid in the collector and enters the collector at a speed of 0.1 meters per second.
This project was carried out in 3D. The geometry of this project was designed by Space Claim software, while the meshing was done using Ansys Meshing software, and the number of elements used for this project was 1014200.
Radiation models were not used for modeling radiation in this project, and the radiation boundary condition was used at the absorber surface of the collector. A simple algorithm was used to couple the velocity and pressure for solving this project.
After simulating the project, we can see the velocity, pressure, and temperature contours. The water temperature at the collector’s inlet is 298 Kelvin, and at the outlet, it is 340 Kelvin. It is concluded that the collector has increased the temperature of the fluid 40 degrees. To reach higher temperatures, the inlet water velocity can be reduced.