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School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
Transpired Solar Collectors (TSCs) are simple low maintenance air heating systems which have been widely used for agricultural and industrial applications. In spite of their potential, these systems have not been yet widely employed in residential buildings as they are unable to generate high grade heat for moderate and low ventilation demands. Hence there is an opportunity for optimisation studies in order to enhance the thermal performance of these systems.
Optimisation and parametric studies can be costly and time consuming if carried out by physical experiments. CFD models however offer a more flexible and less expensive tool to carry out such studies. This research has aimed to optimise the geometry of the solar absorber plate using a validated CFD model which accounts for a wide range of the key factors affecting TSC performance.
A 2nd order polynomial predictive model was developed based on the CFD results with Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) of 3.8%. The predictive model was used to identify an optimal geometry which delivers a Heat Exchange Effectiveness (HEE) of 0.739. The optimised geometry demonstrated 43% increase in HEE whilst using 28% less material compared to the baseline geometry under the same operating conditions. This geometry can be integrated with other performance enhancement techniques to further improve the thermal performance of TSCs.