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The performance of an effective solar water heater enhancement based on

experimental study

Article · July 2018


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3 authors:

Aedah Mohammed Jawad MahdY Khaleel Ibrahim Abass

Engineering Technical College / Baghdad, Iraq. University of Technology, Iraq


Raid Salih Jawad

University of Technology, Iraq


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World Wide Journal of Multidiscip linary Research and Development

WWJMRD 2018; 4(7): 50-54
International Journal
Peer Reviewed Journal The performance of an effective solar water heater
Refereed Journal
Indexed Journal enhancement based on experimental study
Impact Factor MJIF: 4.25
E-ISSN: 2454-6615
Aidah M J Mahdi, Khaleel I Abass, Raid S Jawad
Aidah M J Mahdi
The Middle Technical Abstract
University, Baghdad, Iraq
Today, plenty of hot water is used for demotic, commercial and industrial purposes. The heating of
Khaleel I Abass
this water comes from burning fossil fuels. Solar energy can be the main alternative to replace the
Mechanical Engineering Dept., conventional energy sources. There many solar water heater types available in markets.
University of Technology, Iraq Easy fabricated a half circular trough solar water heater system using forced circulation system is
proposed. Integration the solar absorber with the easily fabricated half circular trough reflector can
Raid S Jawad improve the performance of a solar water heater system. The practical results have shown that very
Biomedical Engineering Dept., promising measures in thermal efficiency. The maximum water temperature achieved in April-2018
University of Technology, Iraq was 54°C while the incoming water was 21°. These encouraging results Calls for rethinking the use
of solar water heaters to reduce waste of electricity

Keywords: Active solar heater, parabolic trough heater, solar intensity, stored energy

Oil has been the most used source of energy in addition to coal in the last two centuries. The
huge consumption of this material is continuing and increasing because of the increase in the
population around the world and the increased need for conditions of rest in buildings. The
increasing number of cars and trucks on the roads as well as the burning of fuel for electric
power has become a major environmental hazard [1]. In the last decade, oil has also
fluctuated considerably in price, making it economically unsustainable [2]. Words such as
climate change and global warming have become commonplace because these phenomena
have become a shadow over ordinary humans and affect their lives [3]. The shift to
renewable, clean, and environmentally friendly energy has become a popular demand since it
has been hanging around in scientific conferences [4].
Iraq suffers from a severe shortage of electricity supplies despite being a rich country with
oil and natural gas. So this country is turning to the use of renewable energies to produce
energy is imperative. Iraq has great potential in the field of solar energy as it is located near
the solar belt, so it has a great intensity of solar radiation in summer and winter with long
bright days [5].
Solar energy has many important applications in life. On the one hand, electricity can now be
produced using a solar chimney [6, 7]. Massive amounts of heat can also be obtained from
solar ponds [8]. Solar energy is used in solar distillation [9], and can be used to heat the air
for comfort in the winter [10]. The production of electricity using photovoltaic cells has
become popular in many parts of the world. Stand-alone systems are used to equip homes,
departments, and offices in remote areas [10]. It is also used to operate water pumps in
remote and rugged areas which are difficult to extend the grid power lines to it [11]. The heat
can be produced from this technology using hybrid systems of PV thermal (PVT) [12, 13].
The introduction of nanoparticles in this technique has increased the efficiency of the heat
that can be obtained from PV panels and therefore the potential of using this heat in heating
water has become a target for researchers and industrialists [14, 15].
Correspondence: Solar applications are highly affected by weather conditions such as solar radiation intensity,
Aidah M J Mahdi atmospheric temperature, relative humidity and wind speed [16]. It is also affected by a
The Middle Technical shade that reduces the radiation intensity that reaches the application. This shadow may be
University, Baghdad, Iraq
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World Wide Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development

caused by dust, clouds, or nearby structures on the

application [17, 18].
The first models of a solar heater manufactured in 1767 by
the Swiss physics scientist De Saussure, the model is a
black box insulated in a hall with two panels of glass
covered at the top [19]. It was called the "hot box", and this
invention was able to cook, heating air, and heating water.
In 1891, Clarence M. Kemp in the United States [20]
developed a metal tank inside a wooden box covered with a
glass cover at the top. This heater produced hot water
(38.8°C) in sunny days. Since then, solar heaters have been
used as an alternative to the burning of expensive fossil
fuels to heat water and have been popular in California and
have spread to many other countries very quickly. With the
technological advances of the last century, solar water
heating technology has become economically feasible and
can be easily implemented at low cost. Solar heaters can be
divided into two basic parts: passive solar heating Water
system and active solar heating Water system [21].
Passive solar heating water systems (SHWS) transfer Fig. 1: a photo of the designed and fabricated system in this study
thermal energy coming from solar radiation in natural
convection process as a result of buoyancy due to The circular trough collector is a polyphenol chloride
temperature difference. In this case, no pumps are used to cylinder 1 m long, cut in the middle at its diagonal and was
rotate the water. This type of heaters is most commonly coated from inside by a low-cost metal mirror sheet of 1
used in domestic applications. Many researchers have mm thickness, which was undergone a careful deformation
studied how to develop their design [25-30]. An important process that was necessary to bring it to parabolic shape.
development currently being studied is the use of phase The mirror has a high reflectivity coefficient of 0.80. Its
change materials (PCN) to store the heat collected by the material is available in local markets and cab be formed for
solar heater to be used after sunset. The thermal storage as the required shape easily. The trough aperture with was
latent heat is used here [31-33]. In this type of solar heaters, taken 22 cm.
the water is heated and circulates between the solar The solar receiver consists of circular pipe made of copper.
collector and storage tank located at a higher level than the The receiver pipe diameter is 2.5 cm. The receiver pipe was
solar heater. Heat transfer occurs between the heater and placed concentrically along the focal line of the collector.
the storage tank by natural convection and part of the heat The receiver passed through holes made for this purpose in
transferred is stored in the PCM [34-36]. a circular flat plate placed at both ends, sealed by a rubber
In the second set of solar heaters, the heat is transferred by cork seals at both ends of the copper tube. A flat glass
the forced convection (circulating the working liquid). In panel was fixed at the top of the collector for more
most models, solar systems are used to manage circulating concentrating of heat.
water process. These heaters use electric pumps, valves, A rigged supporting structure was designed and made with
and water circulation controllers [37, 38]. So these heaters rigid iron strips. The structure frame is supported to the
are more complex than their predecessors and more rotation axis of the parabolic reflecting surface. It is used
expensive [39]. But, despite these negatives, they are more for horizontal axis for daily tracking of the sun. The system
efficient than passive systems. The forced conversion was designed for easy manual tracking due to cost
systems in these heaters can be either direct and then the reduction as it is designed for test purpose. To maintain the
water is recycled between the water storage tank and the parabolic shape intact, cross ribs made of cast iron were
solar collector directly [40, 41].Or, indirectly through by provided on the back surface. The trough collector is then
using heat exchangers to transfer the collected heat in the mounted on stand made of cast iron.
solar heater to the water service reservoir. This heat
exchanger can be installed in or outside the hot water tank Test procedure
[42, 43]. Active solar heaters have varying performance The outdoor experiments were carried out in March and
characteristics due to many factors such as the collector April-2018. The tested system is oriented towards North-
size, slope of the collector, and pattern of consumption of South to capture maximum insolation handily. Water from
hot water, in addition to weather conditions [44, 45, and Storage tank was pumped through the copper tube where it
46]. was heated and returned back to the storage tank. The
This study aims to introduce a new type of active solar system was rotated handily to track the sun during the
collector using forced convection fluid recirculation for daytime. The axis of rotation is located at the focal axis.
utilizing in Iraqi weather conditions for domestic purposes. The cold water was forced to circulate between the
This heater performance and hot water temperatures collector and the tank. The water temperature at the
supplied for the family will be studied here. beginning and end openings of the copper pipe and the
water at the upper part of the tank (where the hot water is)
Experimental Setup were measured using thermocouples type K.
The solar parabolic trough collector system employed for
hot water generation based on the fiber reinforced parabolic Results and Discussions
trough shown in Fig. 1. Figure 2 illustrates the relation between the water
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World Wide Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development

temperature changes in the parts of the solar heater over always less than the temperature of water out of the copper
time. Note that the water entering the heater is at tube, because this water mixed with water with lower
temperatures close to the temperature of the atmosphere temperatures stored in the tank. However, after 3 PM, the
and less at noon. The temperature of the water out of the temperature of the water tank is higher than the water
copper pipe increased with time to reach the highest values coming from the heater because of storage energy during
between 1-2 PM. Then, it begin to decline because of the the morning until this hour. The highest water temperature
decrease in the solar radiation intensity as the sun in the tank was 52 °C. We consider this grade acceptable
approaches the sunset. Hot water in the tank, which will be for domestic water heating.
used at home for the purposes of washing and cooking, is

Fig. 2: The temperature of the variable parts of the solar heating system studied

Figure 3 shows the change of energy stored in reservoir dimensions, is very good for use in Iraq. This is probably
water over time. The shape of the curve shows that the because the intensity of solar radiation during the testing
change of energy stored in water is a function of solar period was high. In general, Iraq has a very high solar
radiation and time. The level of energy stored in a tested intensity even in winter seasons.
heater system, such as the proposed type, which has small

Fig. 3: The stored energy in the proposed system tank variation with time

Solar systems are characterized by low efficiencies due to reasons, the most important is the use of heat-insulating,
the subtle changes in the conversion of solar radiation to the glass mirror that works as concentrator of the solar
energy. So, researchers compete to design the efficiency of radiation on the tube pipe due to its parabolic shape. The
these systems by reducing these losses. In the studied water highest efficiency achieved by this system was 32% at 1
heater system, the efficiency obtained is relatively high PM.
when compared to other types of water heaters. For several
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World Wide Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development

Fig. 4: The system efficiency variation through daytime

Conclusions 8. Chaichan M T & Abaas K I, Productivity amelioration

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