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Solar Energy 83 (2009) 21572164


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A detailed numerical model for at-plate solar thermal devices


J. Cadafalch
Universitat Polite`cnica de Catalunya (UPC), Departament de Ma`quines i Motors Te`rmics (MMT), Institut Polite`cnic Campus Terrassa (IPCT),
Ctra. Nac. 150, km 14.5, 08227 Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain
Received 29 April 2009; accepted 19 August 2009
Available online 25 September 2009
Communicated by: Associate Editor Brian Norton

Abstract
A one-dimensional transient numerical model for at-plate solar thermal devices is here presented.
The model permits the analysis of dierent congurations and components such as multiple-glazing, transparent insulation, air-gaps,
surface coatings, opaque insulation and energy accumulation in water or PCM internal stores.
In order to obtain information of practical interest, the solar thermal devices are modelled following virtual testing procedures in
accordance to the experimental test methods described by European and International standards.
This paper describes the basis of the model and shows some comparison of numerical and experimental data as an example of the
validation process that has been carried out in order to assess the credibility of the numerical model. For simplicity, the explanation
is restricted to standard multiple-glazed at-plate collectors. The use of the model in other more complicated congurations as in transparently insulated covers or integrated collector storage devices with phase change materials will be presented in other separate papers.
2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Solar collectors; Domestic water heating systems; Modelling

1. Introduction
System and components research in modern thermal
engineering is based on the combination of numerical
and experimental techniques. Numerical models permit to
nd-out solutions on a computer (virtual prototyping) with
no need to construct large and expensive series of prototypes. Once these solutions are found, they have to be validated by comparison to experimental data obtained from
ad hoc experimental set-ups or prototypes.
Numerical models for virtual prototyping must be
detailed enough to be able to deal with all dominant physical phenomena, and simple enough to give results in a
short time. Therefore, the set of governing equations
addressing the conservation of physical quantities (mass,

E-mail address: jcadafalch@mmt.upc.edu


URL: http://www.upc.edu
0038-092X/$ - see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.solener.2009.08.013

momentum, energy, radiative heat transfer, etc.) have to


be simplied by means of some assumptions.
Due and Beckman (1991) developed a model for atplate solar collectors that has been widely used for design
and prediction. Heat transfer is assumed one-dimensional
from the thermal uid to the ambient. Temperature at
the absorber, back plate and covers are calculated at steady
state conditions from an analogy between one-dimensional
heat transfer and electrical grids.
Eorts have been done to develop models accounting
for more physical and geometrical complexity, see for
example Schnieders (1997), Kamminga (1995), Isakson
(1995), de Ron (1980) and Fraisse and Plantier (2003).
Most of them are based on an extension of the electrical
analogy adopted by Due and Beckman. They are still
restricted to specic geometries and materials, and their
generalization to account for other phenomena such as
phase change and radiative heat transfer in participating
media is quite complicated. These models are currently

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J. Cadafalch / Solar Energy 83 (2009) 21572164

Nomenclature
thermal capacity per unit of area J=m2 K
specic heat at constant pressure J=kg K
double glazed collector
global solar irradiance over collector plane
W=m2
beam solar irradiance over collector plane
Gtb
W=m2
Gtdiff diuse solar irradiance over collector plane
W=m2
h
heat transfer coecient W=m2 K
habsf absorber to thermal uid heat transfer coecient W=m2 K
eective heat transfer coecient from the back
hba
to the ambient including thermal radiation and
convection W=m2 K
eective heat transfer coecient from the cover
hca
to the ambient including thermal radiation and
convection W=m2 K
PCM phase change material
q_
heat ux or heat source W=m2
abs
heat ux from the absorber to the cover W=m2
q_ c
abs
heat ux from the absorber to the back W=m2
q_ b
abs
heat ux lost through the edges referred to the
q_ e
absorber area W=m2
abs
heat ux transferred to the thermal uid in the
q_ f
absorber W=m2
q_ v
energy source per unit of area W=m2
sg
single glazed collector
T
temperature (C)
ambient or surrounding air temperature (C)
Ta
mean temperature of the heat transfer uid (C)
T av
TIM
transparent insulation material
edges heat loss coecient referred to the absorUe
ber area W=m2 K
U e0 ; U e1 U e linearisation coecients W=m2 K;
W=m2 K2 ; U e U e0 U e1 T abs in  C
c
cp
dg
Gt

being used by common simulation software packages as


TRNSYS (1994) and T-Sol (1999).
With the improvement of both computational algorithms and computers, is now possible to calculate more
and more complex phenomena and geometry in a reasonable computation time. To do so, improved models have
to be developed.
The author presents a one-dimensional transient model
for at-plate solar thermal devices based on control volume
computational heat transfer techniques. With this
approach dierent congurations and materials can be
investigated including multiple-glazings, transparent insulation, phase change materials, air-gaps, coatings, opaque
insulation and water storage tanks. The inputs of the model
are the conguration and the basic thermophysical and
radiative properties of the materials being used.

d
Dt
DT av

g
K
k
r
q
s
h

thickness m
time increment (s)
temperature dierence between T av and T a (C)
hemispherical thermal emittance
collector eciency for normal incidence referred
to the absorber area
heat transfer coecient W=m2 K
thermal conductivity W=m K
StephanBoltzmann constant 5:67  108
W=m2 K4
density kg=m3 , solar reectivity
solar transmittance
solar radiation incidence angle ()

Subscripts
conv
convection
dif
radiation property for diuse incidence
i
layer index (from 1 to N), interlayer index (from
0 to N) and control volume index (from 0
to N)
j
index of the number of layers in a component
N
number of layers
sr
solar radiation
h
radiation property for beam incidence at the
incidence angle h
thr
thermal radiation
Superscripts
abs
absorber
ag
air gap
co
component
gl
glazing
om
opaque material
o
value at the previous time step

guessed value in the convergence procedure

In order to obtain information of practical interest, the


virtual solar thermal devices are calculated under virtual test
conditions following European and International standard
testing procedures described in EN12975 (2006), ISO98061 (1994), ISO9459-2 (1995) and ISO9459-5 (1996).
Previous versions of the model have already been used
in several projects focused on the design of solar collectors
and integrated collector storage devices, see for example
Oliva et al. (2000), Maestre et al. (2004), Maestre et al.
(2003) and Martnez et al. (2005). See also some details
of the model in a previous stage in Cadafalch and Oliva
(2003).
In the last few-years the author has improved the model
in order to simplify it and to make it usable by other members of the solar community. In this paper the principles of
the model are described. The explanation includes a con-

J. Cadafalch / Solar Energy 83 (2009) 21572164

ceptual description of a at-plate solar thermal device as a


pile of components, the modelling of the components and a
description of the global numerical algorithm. Some comparison of numerical and experimental data is also
reported to show in part the validation study that has been
carried out in order to assess the credibility of the model.
For clarity, the explanation here has been restricted to
multiple-glazed at-plate collectors with standard materials. The use of the model to study other congurations
and materials such as transparently insulated covers or
integrated collector storage devices with phase change
material stores, will be reported in more extent in separate
papers.
2. The model
The geometry of a at-plate solar thermal device can be
seen as a pile of components. A standard single glazed collector, for instance, may have the following six components: the back plate, the back insulation, the air gap
between the back insulation and the absorber, the absorber, the cover air gap and the glass pane.
Heat transfer through the components is essentially onedimensional. Some bi-dimensional and three-dimensional
eects always occur due to the inuence of the edges, or
because some of the components are not perfectly uniform.
For example, in a n-and-tube like absorber there are temperature gradients in both the longitudinal and transversal
directions. However, main heat transfer ow remains onedimensional.
Heat ows from one component to another due to convection, thermal radiation, solar radiation and conduction.
Inside the components energy can be accumulated due to
thermal inertia, can be removed or can be generated. For
example, the thermal uid in the absorber in normal conditions removes energy from the absorber. On the other
hand, if during the night hot thermal uid circulates
through the absorber, it can be seen as a generation of
energy inside the absorber.
This physical phenomena can be well represented by the
multilayer energy model described in the appendix. The
one-dimensional domain is discretised in dierent zones
named layers. They are characterised by the parameters
K, c and q_ v that account for heat transfer, thermal inertia
and energy generation in the layer, respectively.
To solve the multilayer model, appropriate Neumann
boundary conditions (i.e. heat transfer coecient and
external temperature) are required at the two external layers. The ambient temperature T a and eective heat transfer coecients from the cover hca and back plate hba
to the surroundings are used. The eective heat transfer
coecients account for both thermal radiation and
convection.
The value of the parameters and number of layers
depend on the components that congure the solar thermal
device and the models used to evaluate each of them. The
models that are currently being used by the author to eval-

2159

uate the components of standard at-plate solar collectors


are described in Section 2.3. Their main features are:







One-dimensional heat transfer.


Temperature dependent thermophysical properties.
Conductive heat transfer in the solids parts.
Convective heat transfer in the air or uid cavities.
Energy accumulation due to thermal inertia.
Heat loss through the edges is evaluated as an energy
loss in the absorber.
 Diuse thermal radiation.
 Time dependent weather data. Both ideal and real data
can be used.
 Diuse and angular dependent beam solar radiation are
considered. Solar radiation absorbed at each component
is calculated from the model described in Section 2.4,
and is then introduced as an energy gain in the corresponding layers.
2.1. Virtual tests
The model is run under dierent testing procedures in
order to obtain information of practical interest for the
design and optimisation such as thermal eciency or the
maximum temperature than can be reached in some components of the solar thermal device. These procedures are
called virtual tests. Some of them, as for example the steady
state eciency test for solar collectors, are based on the
experimental tests proposed by the European Committee
for Standardisation and the International Organisation
for Standardisation, see EN12975 (2006), ISO9806-1
(1994), ISO9459-2 (1995) and ISO9459-5 (1996).
2.2. Global algorithm
A schematic representation of the global algorithm
implemented is shown in Fig. 1. Main ow of the algorithm
follows the path in black. Weather data has to be updated
as a function of the current simulation time. This is represented in the scheme with the dark grey path. A third path
represented in clear grey stands for the data ow from a
data base with weather, thermophysical properties and
radiative properties data, to the procedures of the black
and dark grey path.
The rst step of the algorithm is the denition of the
input data consisting of:
 Conguration of the solar thermal device, i.e. all the
components with their geometry, materials and specic
features.
 Weather data. They can be real or ideal data such as a
constant ambient temperature and a constant radiation
level.
 Simulation control. It includes:
Numerical parameters: level of spatial and temporal
discretisation, solvers, convergence criteria, etc.
Testing procedure: type of virtual test.

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J. Cadafalch / Solar Energy 83 (2009) 21572164

Fig. 1. Global algorithm.

Once all inputs are set, computation can start. The core
of the computation consist of three main loops. The external loop account for those virtual tests requiring multiple
simulations. For example, in the steady state eciency test
for solar collectors, eciency is to be measured (calculated)
for dierent levels of the thermal uid temperature. The
second loop accounts for the time marching. Finally, the
internal loop is needed to achieve convergence for each
time of simulation. The convergence loop is necessary
because most components models require a guess of the
current temperature distribution due to, for instance, temperature dependence of the thermophysical properties. Calculations inside the internal loop are divided in two major
steps. In the rst, the multilayer parameters K, c and q_ v of
each layer i are calculated according to the components
models, the current guess of the temperature distribution
T i , and the current weather data. In the second step, the
temperature distribution T i is calculated by means of the
multilayer model. When dierences between the current
and guessed temperature distribution accomplish the convergence criteria requested by the user, i.e. convergence criteria is reached, the calculation of the next time step starts.
Output data at the end of the whole computation are the
evolution in time of the temperature distribution and of all
the heat uxes and energy terms. Typically, some post-pro-

cessing is carried out in order to obtain practical information


from the engineering point of view. In the case of the steady
state eciency curve of solar collectors, all eciency points
are t into a rst or second order eciency curve according
to the CEN procedure described in EN12975 (2006).
The components take account of the solar energy
absorbed by an internal energy gain indicated by q_ sr in
the parameters q_ v of the corresponding layers. The values
of the terms q_ sr are calculated for each simulation time step
according to the current weather data and the solar radiation properties of the components. The solar radiation
model used to perform this calculation is described in Section 2.4. Some components models and the boundary conditions of the multilayer model also require time updated
values of other weather parameters like the ambient temperature T a and the eective heat transfer coecient at
the cover and the back including convection and thermal
radiation, hca and hba . The instantaneous weather data
generator of the dark grey path in Fig. 1, generates all
the required weather data from ideal or real weather data
of the weather data base.
The data base also supplies the values of the solar radiation properties to the solar radiation model and the values
of the thermal radiation properties and the thermophysical
properties to the components models.

J. Cadafalch / Solar Energy 83 (2009) 21572164

2.3. Modelling of the components


Each one of the components of the at-plate solar thermal device becomes one or several layers in the multilayer
model with appropriate values of the parameters K, c and
q_ v . The procedures currently being used by the author to
evaluate the components of standard at-plate solar collectors are discussed in this section. A summary is also given
in Table 1. The modelling of other components as transparent insulation materials and water or phase change materials internal stores will be described in some extent in
separated papers.
2.3.1. The absorber
The absorber model is based on a global energy balance
at the absorber, assuming that it is an isothermal thin at
plate at a temperature T abs and neglecting energy accumulation eects.
The net solar irradiance absorbed by the absorber, q_ abs
sr ,
is transferred to the thermal uid circulating through the
_ abs
_ abs
and to
absorber, q_ abs
f , to the cover, q
c , to the edges q
e
abs
the back, q_ b . Therefore, the instantaneous energy balance
at the absorber reads
_ abs
_ abs
_ abs
_ abs
q_ abs
sr q
f q
c q
b q
e

where all the terms are in W=m2 referenced to the absorber


area.
Eq. (1) is the at-plate energy balance in which the wellknown model of Due and Beckman (1991) for at-plate
solar collectors is based. They developed a model that permits to predict in detail the thermal performance of atplate collectors with single or multiple covers.
The model here presented is an extension of the model
of Due and Beckman (1991) where the terms of Eq. (1)
and q_ abs
related to the cover and the back, q_ abs
c
b , are calculated in more detail using the multilayer model, see Appendix A, and the solar energy absorbed q_ abs
sr is evaluated from
the solar radiation model described in Section 2.4. This
approach permits the analysis of at-plate solar thermal
devices with non-standard congurations such as transparently insulated covers, and energy storage in the back of
the absorber by means of rectangular water or phase
change material stores.
To solve the absorber as a component in the multilayer,
one single layer is used. As energy accumulation is
Table 1
Parameters of the multilayer model corresponding to each component.
The subindex j is used as a counter of layers in those components
requiring more than one layer, and N co indicates the number of layers
required by each component.
Components
Absorber
Glazing
Air gap
Opaque
material

N co
1
1
1
N om

1 to
N om

ci J=m2 K Ki W=m2 K q_ vi W=m2 


0
0
0
qj cpj dj

1
kgl =dgl
ag
hag
convi hthri
kj =dj

q_ abs
sr
q_ gl
sr
0
0

q_ abs
f

q_ abs
e

2161

neglected, the parameter ci is set to 0. The assumption of


isothermal thin at plate is imposed by setting the Ki
parameter to 1. The terms q_ abs
and q_ abs
in Eq. (1) are
c
b
directly calculated in the multilayer model. The remaining
terms are introduced as a source term of the layer. Therefore, the multilayer parameter accounting for internal
energy gains reads:
_ abs
_ abs
q_ vi q_ abs
sr  q
f q
e

The convergence of the multilayer model is very sensitive to


variations in the source term of the layer corresponding to
the absorber. Sub relaxation of the variations of q_ vi helps
overcoming this problem.
and q_ abs
The terms q_ abs
f
e are calculated in terms of a heat
transfer coecient and a dierence of temperature as
follows
abs
 T av
q_ abs
f habsf T

q_ abs
e

U e T

abs

 T a U e0 U e1 T

3
abs

abs

 T a

In Eq. (3), habsf is the heat transfer coecient from the absorber plate to the thermal uid circulating through the absorber, and T av is the mean temperature of the heat transfer
uid. In Eq. (4), T a is the ambient temperature, and the
heat loss coecient of the edges of the collector referenced
to the absorber area, U e , is linearised in terms of the
absorbing surface temperature T abs (in C). Parameters
habsf ; T av ; U e0 and U e1 are calculated according to Due
and Beckman (1991).
2.3.2. Air-gaps
Only one layer is necessary to evaluate air-gaps. No
thermal inertia nor participation of the air in the radiation
heat transfer are considered. The heat transfer parameter in
the air gap takes account of convective heat transfer by
means of the coecient hag
convi and of thermal radiation
between the limiting surfaces of the air gap with the coecient hag
thri . The convective heat transfer coecient is calculated from correlations of the Nusselt number available in
the literature, see Rohsenow et al. (1985) and Schweiger
(1997). Thermal radiative heat transfer is evaluated assuming grey diuse innite surfaces, see Due and Beckman
(1991), resulting into the following equation:
hag
thri T i1  T i


1
r T 4i1  T 4i
1
i  1
i1
1

where r is the StephanBoltzmann constant, i1 and i the


hemispherical thermal emittance of the limiting surfaces,
and T i1 and T i the temperatures of the limiting surfaces.
2.3.3. Glazings
A single layer is used for each glazing. Heat transfer
coecient K in the glazings takes account of conduction
and is calculated from the thermal conductivity of the glazing kgl and the thickness of the glazing, dgl , resulting in
Ki kgl =dgl . No thermal inertia is considered, i.e. ci 0.

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J. Cadafalch / Solar Energy 83 (2009) 21572164

The absorbed solar irradiance q_ sri in the glazing is considered in the source term q_ vi parameter. See the description
of the radiative heat transfer model used in Section 2.4.
2.3.4. Opaque material (opaque insulation)
It is divided in N om parts with a thickness dj , where the
subindex j is a counter of the parts ranging from j 1 to
j N om . A layer of the multilayer model is assigned to each
part. The multilayer parameters are calculated from the
thermophysical properties of the opaque material q; cp
and k and the thickness d, see Table 1.
2.4. Solar radiation model
The solar irradiance absorbed at the glazings, the absorber and at the honeycomb-like transparent insulation (if
any) is calculated by means of the algorithm for multilayer
systems described by Platzer (1998) assuming that there is
no diuse scattering in the layers.
The absorption of the beam and diuse part of the solar
irradiance at each layer are calculated separately. The
parameters required to perform the calculation of the beam
part are the solar transmittance, sh , of each layer and the
reection of solar radiation of all the interlayer surfaces
including the absorber, qh . They are both a function of
the angle of incidence of the solar irradiance h. The value
of these radiative properties at the glazings and absorbers
are obtained from the technical information supplied by
the manufacturers of the cover components.
The calculation of the diuse part requires diuse values
of the solar transmittance and reection in the layers and
interlayer surfaces, sdif and qdif . They are calculated from
an averaging of sh and qh over all the hemisphere.
The total solar irradiance absorbed at each layer including the beam and diuse part, q_ sri , is introduced as a source
term in the discretised energy equations corresponding to
each layer, see Table 1.
3. Results
Previous versions of the model here presented have
already been used in dierent projects focused on the
design and optimisation of at-plate solar thermal devices,
see for example Maestre et al. (2004), Maestre et al. (2003)
and Martnez et al. (2005). In the framework of these projects many collectors and integrated collector storage
devices have been constructed and tested in detail. The
comparison of these experimental results with the numerical data predicted with the model has served to assess the
credibility of the model.
Specic studies have also been carried out to verify the
dierent procedures used in the model, such as the multilayer model, the solar radiation model, the data supplied
by the data base and each one of the components models.
As an example of what can be obtained from the model,
some numerical and experimental data corresponding to
two dierent collectors are presented hereafter. One is a sin-

Fig. 2. Experimental and numerical steady state eciency curves obtained


according to EN12975 (2006).

gle glazed at-plate commercial collector from the company


Modulo Solar. The other, is the same collector in which the
cover has been changed by a double glazed cover.
The experimental steady state eciency curve of the single glazed collector was obtained by a certication center
according to EN12975 (2006). The numerical curves have
been obtained from the model following the same standard
procedure. Results are shown in Fig. 2 and Table 2. Fig. 2
shows the numerical curve, the experimental measurements
and the experimental curve obtained from the t of the
experimental measurements.
Dierences between the numerical and experimental eciency of the single glazed collector are always below 2% in
the whole range of analysis. This good agreement between
the experimental and numerical indicates not only that the
model is able to properly predict the experimental eciency
curve, but also that the input data used in the model, i.e.
the geometry of the collectors and the thermophysical
and radiative data provided by the company Modulo
Solar, were certain.
4. Conclusions
This paper describes in detail the fundamentals of a
model for the design and optimisation of at-plate solar
thermal devices. The model consists of an extension of
the simple model of Due and Beckman (1991) where
the components of the solar device in the cover and back

Table 2
Experimental and numerical steady state eciency curves obtained
according to EN12975 (2006).
Prototype

Data type

Single glazed (sg)

Experimental
Numerical

0:79  3:54 0:010DT av DT av =Gt


0:80  3:89 0:0064DT av DT av =Gt

Double glazed (dg)

Numerical

0:74  2:93 0:0067DT av DT av =Gt

J. Cadafalch / Solar Energy 83 (2009) 21572164

2163

Acknowledgements
The author wishes to thank the company Modulo Solar
that has provided all technical information of the commercial collector used in the section Results. The author also
wishes to point out that previous research to the work here
presented was funded in part by the European Commission
under the framework of dierent CRAFTS projects in
which the Centre Tecnolo`gic de Transfere`ncia de Calor
(CTTC) of the Universitat Polite`cnica de Catalunya
(UPC) participated.
Appendix A. The multilayer model

Fig. 3. Schematic of the multilayer model: one-dimensional transient heat


transfer through N layers with internal source terms.

can be calculated in more detail. It makes possible to study


new congurations, concepts and materials such as covers
with transparent insulation material and heat storage in
phase change materials.
The explanation in this paper has been limited to those
components used in standard at-plate solar collectors.
The modelling of other components as transparent insulation materials and water or phase change materials internal
stores will be described in some extent in separated papers.
The model can be run under dierent testing procedures
called virtual tests in order to obtain useful data for optimisation and design purposes. Some of these virtual tests
reproduce the standard testing procedures described in
EN12975 (2006), ISO9806-1 (1994), ISO9459-2 (1995)
and ISO9459-5 (1996).
Previous versions of the model have already been used
in the framework of several projects focused on the development of new at-plate solar collectors and integrated
collector storage systems. Prototypes constructed in these
projects have been tested in detail and the resulting experimental data has been compared to the numerical data
obtain with the model. This validation process has permitted to assess the credibility of the model.
As an example of the validation process that has been
carried out, the numerical and experimental steady state
eciency curve of a commercial single glazed at-plate collector has been presented. Absolute dierences of the
numerical and experimental eciency in the whole range
of analysis were never beyond 2%.

The model considers one-dimensional transient heat


transfer through N dierent layers with internal heat
sources. Each layer is characterised by a heat transfer coefcient K in W=m2 K, a thermal capacity c in J=m2 K, and a
heat source q_ v in W=m2 . See Fig. 3.
To identify each layer a subindex i is used form i 1 to
i N corresponding to the bottom and top layers,
respectively.
Linear temperature distribution in each layer is
assumed. Therefore, the distribution of temperatures
through all the multilayer is a polyline with the vertexes
at the interlayer surfaces.
Numerating the temperature of the dierent interlayer
surfaces from 0 (bottom) to N (top), the temperature of
limiting surfaces of the layer i are T i1 and T i .
The temperature T i at each interlayer surface is evaluated by solving the energy conservation law in a control
volume made up by half of the two touching layers. The
resulting discretised equation, using an implicit temporal
discretisation and a rst order scheme for the time derivatives, reads as follows

T i  T oi
0:5 q_ vi q_ vi1 Ki T i1  T i
0:5ci ci1
Dt
 Ki1 T i  T i1
6
where Dt is the time increment and the superindex o in T oi
means that it is the value of the temperature T i at the previous time step.
See as the use of the parameters K; c and q_ v makes Eq.
(6) independent of the thickness of the layer.
The bottom and top layers are related to the surroundings of the multilayer by means of a heat transfer coecient
and a surrounding (or ambient) temperature, Kbot and T bot
for the bottom, and Ktop and T top for the top.
Temperatures at the boundaries of the multilayer system, T 0 and T N , are calculated by solving the energy conservation law in a control volume consisting of the
external half of the layer and considering the appropriate
boundary conditions. See the boundary control volumes
indicated in Fig. 3. For example, the discretised equation
in the bottom boundary control volume reads
T 0  T o0
0:5q_ v1 Kbot T bot  T 0  K1 T 0  T 1
7
0:5c1
Dt

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J. Cadafalch / Solar Energy 83 (2009) 21572164

If Kbot or Ktop are set to 1, the temperature at the corresponding boundary of the multilayer is set to T bot or T top ,
respectively.
As a result, a set of N 1 non-linear algebraic equations
with N 1 unknowns, the temperatures, is drawn. Nonlinearity of the equations arises from possible temperature
dependence of the parameters K; c and q_ v . A iterative solver
based on a tridiagonal matrix algorithm is used to solve the
resulting equation system Patankar, 1980.
References
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EN12975, 2006. European Standard. Thermal solar systems and components-solar collectors. European Committee for Standardisation.
Fraisse, G., Plantier, Ch., 2003. Development and experimental validation
of a detailed at-plate solar collector model. In: 5th French and
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