Field Study and Modeling of an Unglazed Transpired Solar Collector System

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Title: Field Study and Modeling of an Unglazed Transpired Solar Collector System
Author: Maurer, Christine Carol
Advisors: Richard R. Johnson, Committee Chair
Nancy Ma, Committee Member
James Leach, Committee Member
Abstract: An unglazed transpired solar collector (UTC) consists of a perforated metal cladding mounted on the south side of a structure. Outdoor air is drawn through the collector for low temperature heating including preheating ventilation air, preheating combustion air, and crop drying. While UTC systems are more commonly used in the Northeast U.S. and Canada, they have not been installed as much in the southeast because of the short heating season. The NC Solar Center installed a data acquisition system to monitor the performance of a UTC system at a manufacturing facility in North Carolina. The main objectives of this project were to evaluate the performance of the components of the system and determine the energy collected and potential monetary savings from the system. The case study was used to understand the principles behind operation of these collectors and compare the monitoring results to previous models of collector performance. A simulation of a UTC system was built in TRNSYS and used to look at the potential for transpired collectors in warmer climates than where UTCs are typically installed. A heat transfer analysis was done to look at the possibility of the collector causing additional heat gain to the building in the summer. The results show that it is possible that the collector causes unwanted heat gain in the summer. Additional investigation could be done to characterize the flow conditions in bypass mode and validate theory with experimental data. Despite the short heating season, some industrial or commercial buildings could still benefit from the technology. The success of the technology depends on site characteristics and building conditions; therefore, transpired collector systems must be considered on a case by case basis. Even if the system works well, space heating is only a minor portion of the energy used in industrial facilities in North Carolina.
Date: 2004-07-08
Degree: MS
Discipline: Mechanical Engineering

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