Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 53, Issue 9, pp 2841–2851 | Cite as

Design and performance of multi-purpose vacuum solar collector

  • H. Kavoosi BalotakiEmail author
  • M. H. Saidi


Design and fabrication of solar collectors with high performance of energy efficiency to convert solar energy to utility energy is vitally important. This article reports the results obtained from design, construction and investigation of the performance of a Combined Multi-Purpose Vacuum Solar Collector (CMPVSC). This collector consists of three sections: the vacuum section, the liquid section and the air section. In the present collector, it is capable of transferring heat to two flows (liquid and air) simultaneously and separate with the possibility of multipurpose applications. The CMPVSC is compared with the existing individual collectors and the effects of different parameters on the efficiency of this collector are examined. Experimental data indicate that high temperature and high performance with a 43% reduction in cost can be obtained using CMPVSC compared to two individual collectors. To increase the efficiency of the collector, triangular and rectangular channels in the air section have been used. The vacuum part is implemented to reduce heat losses. The effect of water inlet temperature, air flow rate, shape of air channel and vacuum part on the heat delivery by air and water have been investigated. Furthermore, as a matter of comparison of CMPVSC with the individual collector, there is a chance of obtaining highest temperature and efficiency with minimum cost and space requirements.


Solar Collector Absorber Plate Vacuum Section Flat Plate Collector Triangular Channel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of symbols


Area of collector (m2)


Fluids heat transfer area (m2)


Collector gross area (m2)


Circumference of collector gross area (m)


Specific heat (kJ/kg K)


Collector heat removal factor


Heat transfer coefficient between fluids and tubes and channels (W/m2 K)


Wind heat transfer coefficient (W/m2 K)


Instantaneous/hourly flux incident on top cover of collector (W/m2)


Thermal conductivity of insulation (W/m K)


Characteristic dimension of flat plate collector cover (m)


Length of absorber plate (m)


Width of absorber plate (m)


Height of flat plate collector casing (m)


Mass flow rate (kg/s)


Number of transparent covers


Prandtl number


Useful energy gain by collector (W)


Useful heat gain by water (W)


Useful heat gain by air (W)


Reynolds number


Temperature (C)


Temperature of ambient (C)


Outlet temperature of air at individual air collector (C)


Outlet temperature of air at CMPVSC (C)


Temperature of ambient (C)


Inlet fluid temperature (C)


Outlet fluid temperature (C)


Mean absorber surface temperature (C)


Logarithmic difference temperature (C)


Outlet temperature of water at individual water collector (C)


Bottom loss coefficient (W/m2 K)


Overall loss coefficient (W/m2 K)


Top loss coefficient (W/m2 K)


Side loss coefficient (W/m2 K)


Free stream wind speed (m/s)

Greek symbols


Slope or tilt


Average thickness of bonding adhesive (m)


Thickness of side insulation (m)


Heat exchange effectiveness


Emissivity of cover for long wavelength radiation


Emissivity of absorber surface for long wavelength radiation


Solar efficiency


Efficiency of CMPVSC with triangle channel and without vacuum part


Efficiency of CMPVSC with combined channel and vacuum part


Efficiency of air part CMPVSC with triangle channels


Efficiency of air part CMPVSC with combined channels


Efficiency of separate water part of CMPVSC


Kinematic viscosity (m2/s)


Density (kg/m3)


Stefan–Boltzmann constant


Average value of transmissivity–absorptivity product for beam and diffuse radiation



Fluids (air or water)




Air and ambient


1 Inlet


2 Outlet



Authors are grateful of INSF for their financial support of this research work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringSharif University of Technology International CampusKish IslandIran
  2. 2.Center of Excellence in Energy Conversion (CEEC), School of Mechanical EngineeringSharif University of TechnologyTehranIran

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