Design requirements of an efficient solar thermal collector Incorporated Into excellent hot water systems: Detailed analysis of the irradiative and convective heat transfers Introduction: With the increasing problems associated with the fossil fuel related energy production, exploration and efficient utilization of renewable energy Is the key to have a sustainable energy future.
Solar energy Is the main source of a clean and renewable energy, and collecting solar power as thermal energy Is becoming increasingly important especially at this time when there is increasing emphasis on enable energy and the cost of conventional power generation is increasing.Currently, solar thermal panels are becoming more and more popular because they can be placed on many buildings and common places, collecting and converting solar energy Into thermal energy, and supplying thermal energy through hot water systems.
However, how to make solar energy collection and utilization more efficient is still a major problem.Literature Review: The solar thermal collector is the device that absorbs the incoming solar radiation, inverts it Into heat, and transfers this heat into fluid flowing through the collector.
Thus, solar thermal collectors are special kind of heat exchangers that transform solar radiation energy to Internal energy of the transport medium. In recent years, many researches have been aimed to investigate and enhance the thermal efficiency of different kind of solar thermal collectors.
Fernando-Garcia et al. Reviewed the parabolic-trough collectors and their Incorporation Into practical applications such as electricity generation and domestic hot water and space heating. Doughier et al.  researched the performance optimization of a solar water heater flat plate collector. Giuliani et al. Optimized solar water heating system through water replenishment. In addition, Caner et al.  used artificial neural network as a new method to conduct the thermal performance analysis so as to obtain a more accurate result.
Nonetheless, many questions remain unanswered. For example, incorporate an efficient solar thermal collector into existing hot water systems? What analyses should we do in order to design an efficient solar thermal collector? What approaches may we use for such analyses? Proposed Research: The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CUFF) has been applied to many practical engineering problems including CUFF modeling to analyses energy efficiency involving heat transfer, convection, thermal radiation and energy storage.
CUFF related research projects being conducted by He’s group across a broad selection of topics. For example, they reported that in the air conditioning industry chilled water storage systems are one form of cool thermal storage technology that can be used to time haft the electrical load of the system from the peak day periods to off peak night time periods. Therefore, CUFF simulation and modeling should significantly help us finding answers to the above questions and contributing to the improvement of the efficiency of solar energy collection, storage and utilization.
As a senior student majoring in Thermal Energy and Power Engineering, I have a solid knowledge background on Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and CUFF. I have also had real world internships such that during my internship at XX, I acquired an amount of knowledge on the research of the solar water heater in buildings. In addition, the project XX that I am currently doing enables me to use CUFF well, and helps me understand the overall concept and process of how to conduct a research. Furthermore, I have communicated with XX, and has agreed to help me and guide me in my research project.
The main objective of this proposed research is to evaluate the design requirements of an efficient solar thermal collector supported by detailed analysis of the irradiative and convective heat transfers. Detailed analyses of the irradiative and convective heat transfers will be conducted, and the design requirements of an efficient solar thermal collector will be evaluated. With the results obtained through detailed analyses and evaluations, the research will aim to design, construct and test the requirements of efficient solar thermal collectors that are incorporated into existing hot water systems.