Preliminary Operational Results of the Low-Temperature Solar Industrial Process Heat Field Tests

Charles Kutscher, Roger Davenport

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    Six solar industrial process heat field tests have been in operation for a year or more - three are hot water systems and three are hot air systems. All are low-temperature projects (process heat at temperatures below 212/sup 0/F). Performance results gathered by each contractor's data acquisition system are presented and project costs and problems encountered are summarized. Flat-plate, evacuated-tube, and line-focus collectors are all represented in the program, with collector array areas ranging from 2500 to 21,000 ft/sup 2/. Collector array efficiencies ranged from 12% to 36% with net system efficiencies from 8% to 33%. Low efficiencies are attributable in some cases to high thermal losses and, for the two projects using air collectors, are due in part to high parasitic power consumption. Problems have included industrial effluents on collectors, glazing and absorber surface failures, excessive thermal losses, freezing and overheating, control problems, and data acquisition system failure. With design and data acquisition costs excluded costs of the projects ranged from $25/ft/sup 2/ to $87/ft/sup 2/ and $499/(MBtu/yr) to $1537/(MBtu/yr).
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages47
    StatePublished - 1981

    NREL Publication Number

    • SERI/TR-632-385-R


    • Alabama
    • California
    • cost
    • data acquisition systems
    • evacuated tube collectors
    • field tests
    • flat plate collectors
    • food processing
    • heat losses
    • industrial plants
    • industry
    • performance testing
    • solar energy
    • solar process heat


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