Development of an Empirical Model For Assessment of Solar Air Heater Performance
Solar flat plate collectors are used for meeting the hot air requirement in a number of applications ranging from domestic to industrial sectors. However, the varying degree of uncertainties of available solar radiation along with varying weather conditions often acts as restriction to their wider use. The varying input conditions like solar radiation, ambient temperature and relative humidity have diverse effect on the output of the flat plat collector used for hot air generation and poses difficulty in terms of reliability in providing the output as per users’ requirement. This study refers to a method of predicting the output of flat plate collectors under varying working conditions. The model suggested here defines a relationship between the output in terms of instantaneous efficiency and the inputs, namely, solar radiation, ambient temperature, fluid inlet temperature and the mass flow rate. The relationship is based on the behavior of a given flat plate collector under certain sets of input parameters and can be used to estimate the efficiency of the collector at various mass flow rates. Further, this model can be suitably extended to estimate the mass flow rate for providing a particular output under specific set of input parameters.
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