CFD and experimental investigation of flat plate solar water heating system under steady state condition


Design of flat plate solar collector for biogas production.

CFD model for a single straight tube attached with plate is proposed.

The results of the simulation were in agreement with experimental data.

Open loop performed better compared to closed loop heating system.

Based on thermal efficiency, cost and light weight, aluminum is a better option for absorber plate compared to copper.


The absorber plate and outlet water temperature of a solar flat plate collector with straight riser and header arrangement is investigated. The effect of different operating parameters, viz., inlet water temperature, solar insolation, ambient temperature, and mass flow rate on the outlet water temperature and thermal efficiency were studied. Both the closed as well as open loop solar water heating system is considered for the present investigation. It is observed that the thermal efficiency of the solar water heating system increases with ambient temperature, solar insolation, and mass flow rate of water. However, thermal efficiency decreases as inlet water temperature increases. Numerical simulations were carried out using a 3-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to predict the outlet water and absorber plate temperatures using the experimental values of solar insolation, ambient temperature and inlet water temperature within one hour interval. The CFD results were validated with the experimental results. It was found that the developed model could predict the outlet water and absorber plate temperature of the heating system with reasonable accuracy.


  • Absorber plate temperature;
  • CFD;
  • Outlet temperature;
  • Solar thermal flat plate collector;
  • Thermal performance

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