Experimental Study on the Thermal Performances of a Heat Pipe Solar Collector
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In this work, we present an experimental study of the thermal performance of a Heat Pipe Solar Collector (HPSC). The HPSC has 12 copper heat pipes filled with water and having a capillary structure made of helicoidal and trapezoidal capillary grooves, and Compound Parabolic Concentrator (CPC) type reflectors are used. The tests were performed under the meteorological conditions of Tunis during spring and summer 2009, and several operating parameters such as the solar irradiation, the mass flow rate, and the temperature of water flowing through the HPSC are considered. For fixed operating conditions, the experimental results show that the instantaneous efficiency of the HPSC increases during the day and reaches 80 % in late afternoon. However, it decreases when water mass flow rate and temperature increase. The experimental thermal performance curves (instantaneous efficiency vs. reduced temperature) allow for the determination of the optical efficiency as well as the solar collector heat losses coefficient.
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