Abstract

The global demand for energy is ever increasing; however, the world has a limited number of fossil fuels available. Therefore, alternative renewable energy sources must be utilized. For this reason, solar thermal collectors have become an increasingly popular method for providing hot water or space heating. However, solar thermal collectors are most commonly used in areas that experience warm climates throughout the year. In areas that experience seasonal climates, the cold temperatures and harsh climate conditions significantly reduce the performance of solar thermal collectors during the winter months. This thesis examined the potential that the implementation of a windbreak could have on improving the performance of a solar collector, by reducing the wind induced convection losses, during winter climate conditions. In order to determine the effect of the windbreak, two collectors were operated simultaneously and side by side, one of which had a windbreak. The expected wind direction was from the northwest, so the windbreak was positioned on the westward side of the eastward collector. In this position, a northwest wind would pass over the first collector unhindered and the windbreak would provide shelter to the second collector. The performance of two collectors was measured by calculating and comparing the instantaneous efficiencies. Data was collected during February 2010 and October and November 2010. The results indicated that both wind speed and wind direction will impact the effect that the windbreak has. As one would expect, during non-windy days there was no significant difference observed between the two collectors. On Windy days in which the wind came from the expected wind direction, the windbreak appeared improve the collector's performance. However, due to the uncertainty in the measurements, and the limited number of data points, a definitive declaration cannot be made.

Advisor

Saeed Moaveni

First Committee Member

Patrick Tebbe

Second Committee Member

Louis Schwartzkopf

Date of Degree

2011

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical and Civil Engineering

College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Share

COinS