Thermal Efficiency Evaluation of a Solar Thermal Steam Generating System Using Thermosiphon Technique with Parabolic Trough Collector
Journal of Energy and Natural Resources
Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2020, Pages: 28-34
Received: Dec. 24, 2019; Accepted: Jan. 13, 2020; Published: Feb. 20, 2020
Views 223      Downloads 53
Abiem Louis Tersoo, Department of Physics, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria
Akoshile Clement Olufemi, Department of Physics, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
Article Tools
Follow on us
Parabolic trough solar collectors are the most widely used concentrators for solar thermal applications in the world. This is because very high temperatures of 150°C to 350°C can be attained with its use without any noticeable degradation in the performance of the collector. In this work, a parabolic trough collector (PTC) was designed using simple parabolic equations and constructed with locally sourced materials. The developed PTC was used to converge direct solar radiation to a heat receiver (a copper pipe enclosed in an evacuated glass tube) placed at the focal line of the trough to heat up the water in the pipe to steam. Natural circulation (thermosiphon) was employed to drive the water from the heat source to the heat sink (tank) with the difference in density as the driving force of the system. Temperature sensors were installed at different points of the solar thermal system to experimentally investigate temperature distribution within the system, hence thermal performance. A pressure sensor was also installed in the tank to measure the pressure within the system. The results obtained shows that the solar thermal system generated low-mid temperature steam of up to 105°C at a pressure of approximately 120 kPa on a day when the global solar radiation intensity attained a value of 1109.5 W/m2. A thermosiphon mass flow rate of up to 0.042 kg/s was also recorded through a constant orifice of 12 mm diameter. The instantaneous efficiency of the receiver reached 46.48%.
Thermosiphon, Solar Thermal, Steam Generating System, Thermal Efficiency
To cite this article
Abiem Louis Tersoo, Akoshile Clement Olufemi, Thermal Efficiency Evaluation of a Solar Thermal Steam Generating System Using Thermosiphon Technique with Parabolic Trough Collector, Journal of Energy and Natural Resources. Vol. 9, No. 1, 2020, pp. 28-34. doi: 10.11648/j.jenr.20200901.14
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Rutansh P. and Bhargav P. Solar Powered Stirling Engine- A New Hope, Global Journal of Research Analysis International, vol. 3, ISSN No. 2277 – 8160, 2014, p. 61-3.
International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook, 2014, OECD/ IEA: CORLET Paris cedex France.
Sambo, A. S. Renewable Energy Technology for National Development: Status, Prospects and Policy Directions. in Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. Bauchi 2001: Nigeria Society of Engineers.
Sims, R. E. H. Renewable energy: a response to climate change. Solar Energy, 76 (1–3): 2004, p. 9-17.
Schimmelpfenning, D. The option value of renewable energy: the case of climate change. Energy Economics, 17 (4): 1995 p. 311-317.
Lewis, N. S., Nocera, D. G. Powering the planet: Chemical challenges in Solar Energy Utilization. in National Academy of Sciences, 2006.
Nabin, S. Design and Performance evaluation of a low concentrating Line - axis Dielectric Photovoltaic System, in School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot - Watt University, 2012.
Sambo, A. S., Bala, E. J. Penetration of Solar Photovoltaic into Nigeria's Energy supply mix. in World Renewable Energy Forum (WREF). Denver, Colorado USA: Curran Association Inc. 2012.
Sambo, A. S. Matching Electricity Supply with Demand in Nigeria, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN). 2008, p. 17 – 21.
Norton, B., Probert, S. D. Natural circulation solar energy simulated systems for heating water. Applied Energy 11, 1982, 167–196.
Morrison and Ranatunga, Thermosiphon circulation in solar collectors. Journal of Solar Energy, 24, 1980, p. 191–198.
Ismail, K. A. R., Abogderah, M. M. Performance of heat pipe solar collector. Journal of Solar Energy Engineering 120, 1998, p. 51–59.
Yu, Z. T., Hu, Y. C., Hong, R. H., Cen, K. F. Investigation and analysis on a cellular heat pipe flat solar heater. Heat and Mass Transfer 42, 2005, 122–128.
Rittidech, S., Wannapakne, S. Experimental study of the performance of a solar collector by closed-end oscillating heat pipe (CEOHP). Applied Thermal Engineering 27, 2007, p. 1978–1985.
Azad, E., Theoretical and experimental investigation of heat pipe solar collector. Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 32, 2008, p. 1666–1672.
Hussein, H. M. S., Mohamad, M. A., Belessiotis, V., Optimization of a wickless heat pipe flat plate solar collector. Energy Conversion & Management 40, 1999, p. 1949–1961.
Mathioulakis, E., Belessiotis, V. A new heat-pipe solar domestic hot water system. Solar Energy 72, 2002, p. 13–20.
Tanaka, H., Nakatake, Y. A vertical multiple-effect diffusion-type solar still coupled with a heat pipe solar collector. Desalination 160, 2004, p. 195–205.
Hobbi, A., Siddiqui, K. Experimental study on the effect of heat transfer enhancement devices in flat-plate solar collectors. International Journal of Heat and Mass transfer 52, 2009, p. 4650–4658.
Agbo, S. N. and Unachukwu, G. O. Design and Performance Features of a Domestic Thermosiphon Solar Water Heater for an Averaged-Sized Family in Nsukka Urban, Trends in Applied Sciences Research 2 (3): p. 224-230, 2007 ISSN 1819-3579.
Shah, L. J., Furbo, S. Theoretical flow investigations of an all glass evacuated tubular collector. Solar Energy 81, 2007, p. 822–828.
Shafahi, M., Bianco, V., Vafai, K., Manca, O. Thermal performance of flat-shaped heat pipes using nanofluids. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 53, 2010, p. 1438–1445.
Huminic, G., Huminic, A., Morjan, I., Dumitrche, F. Experimental study of the thermal performance of thermosyphon heat pipe using iron oxide nanoparticles. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 54, 2011, p. 656–661.
Zhang L, Wang WJ, Yu ZT, Fan LW, Hu YC, Ni Y, Fan Jianren, Cen Kefa (2012). An experimental investigation of a natural circulation heat pipe system applied to a parabolic trough solar collector steam generation system. Solar Energy 2012; 86: 911-9.
Adedoyin, J. A. “Initiation of West African squall lines”, Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics. 41: 1989, p. 99-103. doi: 10.1007/BF01043455.
Zhang Liang, Yu Zitao, Fan Liwu, Wang Wujun, Chen Huan, Hu Yacai, Fan Jianren, Ni Mingjiang, Cen Kefa. An experimental investigation of the heat losses of a U-type solar heat pipe receiver of a parabolic trough collector-based natural circulation steam generation system, Renewable Energy 57 (2013) 262-8.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186