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Design, simulation, and analysis of domestic solar water heating systems in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

Research was conducted to quantify the energy and cost savings of two different domestic solar water heating systems compared to an all-electric water heater for a four-person household in Phoenix,

Research was conducted to quantify the energy and cost savings of two different domestic solar water heating systems compared to an all-electric water heater for a four-person household in Phoenix, Arizona. The knowledge gained from this research will enable utilities to better align incentives and consumers to make more informed decisions prior to purchasing a solar water heater. Daily energy and temperature data were collected in a controlled, closed environment lab. Three mathematical models were designed in TRNSYS 17, a transient system simulation tool. The data from the lab were used to validate the TRNSYS models, and the TRNSYS results were used to project annual cost and energy savings for the solar water heaters. The projected energy savings for a four-person household in Phoenix, Arizona are 80% when using the SunEarth® system with an insulated and glazed flat-plate collector, and 49% when using the FAFCO® system with unglazed, non-insulated flat-plate collectors. Utilizing all available federal, state, and utility incentives, a consumer could expect to recoup his or her investment after the fifth year if purchasing a SunEarth® system, and after the eighth year if purchasing a FAFCO® system. Over the 20-year analysis period, a consumer could expect to save $2,519 with the SunEarth® system, and $971 with the FAFCO® system.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Study to find out the optimum number of transparent covers and refractive index for the best performance of sunearth solar water heater using Matlab software

Description

Research was conducted to observe the effect of Number of Transparent Covers and Refractive Index on performance of a domestic Solar Water heating system. The enhancement of efficiency for solar

Research was conducted to observe the effect of Number of Transparent Covers and Refractive Index on performance of a domestic Solar Water heating system. The enhancement of efficiency for solar thermal system is an emerging challenge. The knowledge gained from this research will enable to optimize the number of transparent covers and refractive index prior to develop a solar water heater with improved optical efficiency and thermal efficiency for the collector. Numerical simulation is conducted on the performance of the liquid flat plate collector for July 21st and October 21st from 8 am to 4 pm with different refractive index values 1.1, 1.4, 1.7 and different numbers of transparent covers (0-3). In order to accomplish the proposed method the formulation and solutions are executed using simple software MATLAB. The result demonstrates efficiency of flat plate collector increases with the increase of number of covers. The performance of collector decreases when refractive index is higher. The improved useful heat gain is obtained when number of cover used is 3 and refractive index is 1.1.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Performance analysis of solar assisted domestic hot water system

Description

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.

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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Date Created
  • 2016

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

Description

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

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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Date Created
  • 2015

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

Description

With the need to address the world's growing energy demand, many new

alternative and renewable energy sources are being researched and developed. Many

of these technologies are in their infancy, still being

With the need to address the world's growing energy demand, many new

alternative and renewable energy sources are being researched and developed. Many

of these technologies are in their infancy, still being too inefficient or too costly to

implement on a large scale. This list of alternative energies include biofuels,

geothermal power, solar energy, wind energy and hydroelectric power. This thesis

focuses on developing a concentrating solar thermal energy unit for the application

of an on-demand hot water system with phase change material. This system already

has a prototype constructed and needs refinement in several areas in order to

increase its efficiency to determine if the system could ever reach a point of

feasibility in a residential application. Having put additional control refining

systems on the solar water heat collector, it can be deduced that the efficiency has

increased. However, due to limited testing and analysis it is undetermined just how

much the efficiency of the system has increased. At minimum, the capabilities of the

research platform have dramatically increased, allowing future research to more

accurately study the dynamics of the system as well as conduct studies in more

targeted areas of engineering. In this aspect, the thesis was successful.

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Date Created
  • 2016