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Performance analysis of solar assisted domestic hot water system

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Testing was conducted for a solar assisted water heater and conventional all electric water heater for the purpose of investigating the advantages of utilizing solar energy to heat up water. The testing conducted simulated a four person household living in

Testing was conducted for a solar assisted water heater and conventional all electric water heater for the purpose of investigating the advantages of utilizing solar energy to heat up water. The testing conducted simulated a four person household living in the Phoenix, Arizona region. With sensors and a weather station, data was gathered and analyzed for the water heaters. Performance patterns were observed that correlated to ambient conditions and functionality of the solar assisted water heater. This helped better understand how the solar water heater functioned and how it may continue to function. The testing for the solar assisted water heater was replicated with the all-electric water heater. One to one analyzes was conducted for comparison. The efficiency and advantages were displayed by the solar assisted water heater having a 61% efficiency. Performance parameters were calculated for the solar assisted water heater and it showed how accurate certified standards are. The results showed 8% difference in performance, but differed in energy savings. This further displayed the effects of uncontrollable ambient conditions and the effects of different testing conditions.

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2016

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Development of a concentrating solar water heater with phase change energy storage

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The complicated, unpredictable, and often chaotic hot water usage pattern of typical households severely limits the effectiveness and efficiency of traditional solar hot water heater systems. Similar to large scale concentrating solar power plants, the use of thermal energy storage

The complicated, unpredictable, and often chaotic hot water usage pattern of typical households severely limits the effectiveness and efficiency of traditional solar hot water heater systems. Similar to large scale concentrating solar power plants, the use of thermal energy storage techniques to store collected solar energy as latent heat has the potential to improve the efficiency of solar hot water systems. Rather than being used to produce steam to generate electricity, the stored thermal energy would be used to heat water on-demand well after the sun sets. The scope of this thesis was to design, analyze, build, and test a proof of concept prototype for an on-demand solar water heater for residential use with latent heat thermal energy storage. The proof of concept system will be used for future research and can be quickly reconfigured making it ideal for use as a test bed. This thesis outlines the analysis, design, and testing processes used to model, build, and evaluate the performance of the prototype system.

The prototype system developed to complete this thesis was designed using systems engineering principles and consists of several main subsystems. These subsystems include a parabolic trough concentrating solar collector, a phase change material reservoir including heat exchangers, a heat transfer fluid reservoir, and a plumbing system. The system functions by absorbing solar thermal energy in a heat transfer fluid using the solar collector and transferring the absorbed thermal energy to the phase change material for storage. The system was analyzed using a mathematical model created in MATLAB and experimental testing was used to verify that the system functioned as designed. The mathematical model was designed to be adaptable for evaluating different system configurations for future research. The results of the analysis as well as the experimental tests conducted, verify that the proof of concept system is functional and capable of producing hot water using stored thermal energy. This will allow the system to function as a test bed for future research and long-term performance testing to evaluate changes in the performance of the phase change material over time. With additional refinement the prototype system has the potential to be developed into a commercially viable product for use in residential homes.

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2015