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Design and economic analysis of heat exchangers used in solar cogeneration systems based on nanoworking fluid

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In recent years, two major crises of environmental pollution and increasing acceleration in the depletion of energy resources have caught the attentions. As such, moving toward a clean and renewable energy supply has become a top priority in many countries. In this study, using solar thermal energy to provide heat for the anaerobic digestion process to produce biogas is proposed. An integrated system of flat plate collectors, Kalina power cycle, and biogas treatment cycle is designed and analyzed with Aspen Hysys and Aspen EDR. Design and economic analysis of six novel heat exchangers in the biogas plant working with nanofluids is the main focus. Simulations are performed with three working fluids, including ethylene glycol with Al2O3 nanoparticles, water with copper oxide, and water with titanium oxide. Results show an increase in the thermal conductivity and heat transfer coefficient compared to base working fluids by adding nanoparticles that lead to a reduced surface area and increased pressure drop. Additionally, economic analysis shows that ethylene glycol with Al2O3 nanoparticles is the most justified choice of working fluid.

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Pressure, kPa


Temperature, °C


Heat flux, kW


Area, m2


Overall heat transfer coefficient, kJ/hm2 °C


Cost, $


Length, m


Greenhouse gas


Process flow diagram


Heat exchanger


Flat plate collector


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Correspondence to Mehdi Mehrpooya.

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Saaedi, M., Mehrpooya, M., Shabani, A. et al. Design and economic analysis of heat exchangers used in solar cogeneration systems based on nanoworking fluid. Chem. Pap. 76, 7475–7492 (2022).

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