Freegah, Basim, Asim, Taimoor and Mishra, Rakesh (2013) Computational Fluid Dynamics based Analysis of a Closed Thermo-Siphon Hot Water Solar System. In: 26th International Congress of Condition Monitoring and Diagnostic Engineering Management, 11-13 June 2013, Helsinki, Finland. (Unpublished)

One of the alternative sources of energy is solar energy which is available in abundance throughout the world. The energy contained within the solar rays is capable of starting natural convection within closed mechanical systems containing a suitable working fluid. One such system is commonly known as a Thermo-Siphon which transfers solar energy into internal energy of the working fluid, commonly water. In the present study, an attempt has been made towards better understanding of the flow structure within a thermo-siphon by analysing the natural convection phenomenon using Computational Fluid Dynamics techniques. A commercial CFD package has been used to create a virtual domain of the working fluid within the thermo-siphon, operating under no-load condition. The effects of the length to diameter ratio of the pipes connecting the condenser and the evaporator, number of connecting pipes, angle of inclination of the thermo-siphon and the heat flux from the solar rays to the working fluid, on the performance of the thermo-siphon, have been critically analysed in this study. The results depict that the heat flux and the length to diameter ratio of the pipes have significant effects on the performance of a thermo-siphon, whereas, the angle of inclination has negligibly small effect. Furthermore, an increase in the number of connecting pipes increases the temperature of the working fluid by absorbing more solar energy. Hence, CFD can be used as a tool to analyse, design and optimise the performance output of a thermo-siphon with reasonable accuracy.

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