This article presents an experimental investigation of the heat transfer characteristics as well as energy and exergy performance for a pressurised volumetric solar receiver under variable mass flow rate conditions. During a two-hour period of continuous operation in the morning, the solar irradiance is relatively stable and maintained at approximately 600 W/m2, which is beneficial for analyzing the energy and exergy performance of the solar receiver. Experimental results show that the mass flow rate fluctuation has insignificant effect on the solar receiver outlet temperature, whereas the mass flow rate plays an important role in the solar receiver power, energy efficiency and exergy efficiency. The efficiency of the solar receiver is normally above 55% with the highest efficiency of 87%, and under steady state operating conditions the efficiency is maintained at approximately 60%. A very low value of the heat loss factor (0.014 kW/K) could be achieved during the current steady state operating conditions. The highest exergy efficiency is approximately 36%. In addition, as the temperature difference increases, the impact of the exergy factor increases. The highest exergy factor is 0.41 during the entire test.
|Journal||Applied Thermal Engineering|
|Early online date||14 May 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Jul 2016|