Effect of Soil Conditions on Solar Pond Performance

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    A recent effort to design a one-acre solar pond at the U.S. Air Force Academy brought up several research issues pertaining to solar pond performance prediction. This report addresses those issues. Interactions of the pond with the soil below it have historically been estimated using very simplistic techniques that tend to ignore soil composition, moisture content, and the coupled heat andmoisture transport phenomena. This study examines the models of soil thermal conductivity and heat and mass transport in soils under imposed temperature gradients to assess the potential applicability of these models to solar pond modeling. In addition, a computer simulation code is developed that incorporates the soil thermal conductivity model. Using the code, a parametric analysis wasperformed illustrating the impact of this property on pond behavior and the importance of experimental model verification for the range of soil temperatures experienced in solar ponds. Implications of the combined heat and moisture movement theory on solar pond performance are presented.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages8
    StatePublished - 1984

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-253-2157


    • soil thermal conductivity
    • solar ponds


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