Parametric Study of Active Solar Heating Using a Pebble Bed as a Thermal Collector and Storage Unit


In this study, pebble bed as an absorber and storage material was placed in a south facing, flat plate air-type solar collector at fixed tilt angle of (45°). The effect of this material and different parameters on collector efficiency has been investigated experimentally and theoretically. Two operation modes were employed to study the performance of the solar air heater. An integrated mode of continuous operation of the system during the period of (11:00 am – 3:00 pm) and non-integrated mode in which the system stored the solar energy through the day then used the stored energy during the period of (3:00 pm – 8:00 pm). The results of parametric study in case of continuous operating showed that the maximum average temperature difference of air between inlet and outlet sections observed on (0.018 kg/s) air mass flow rate were exceeded (17°C) and the maximum outlet temperature that got was exceeded (34°C) for the three months (December, January and February) of experiments. Average efficiency was ranged from 53% to 65%. In the case of storage and then operating, the maximum outlet air temperature was ranged from (27°C) up to (31°C) then decreased with spend of energy to reach (13°C) to (18°C) and the maximum storage energy was (165.14 W) for the porosity of (0.29) , height of (20 cm) and (0.01 kg/s) mass flow rate. The results also, showed that the solar air collector supplied a solar heating fraction (SHF) with an average of (0.65) for a meeting room (3 * 4 * 7 m) located in Baghdad as a case study.