Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1169–1174
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Renewable Energy
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Technical Note
Exergetic optimization of ﬂat plate solar collectors
S. Farahat, F. Sarhaddi * , H. Ajam
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan 98164161, Iran
article info
Article history:
Received 13 June 2007 Accepted 22 June 2008 Available online 13 August 2008
Keywords:
Exergy Flat plate solar collector Optimization
abstract
In this paper, an exergetic optimization of ﬂat plate solar collectors is developed to determine the optimal performance and design parameters of these solar to thermal energy conversion systems. A detailed energy and exergy analysis is carried out for evaluating the thermal and optical performance, exergy ﬂows and losses as well as exergetic efﬁciency for a typical ﬂat plate solar collector under given operating conditions. In this analysis, the following geometric and operating parameters are considered as variables: the absorber plate area, dimensions of solar collector, pipes’ diameter, mass ﬂow rate, ﬂuid inlet, outlet temperature, the overall loss coefﬁcient, etc. A simulation program is developed for the thermal and exergetic calculations. The results of this computational program are in good agreement with the experimental measurements noted in the previous literature. Finally, the exergetic optimization has been carried out under given design and operating conditions and the optimum values of the mass ﬂow rate, the absorber plate area and the maximum exergy efﬁciency have been found. Thus, more accurate results and beneﬁcial applications of the exergy method in the design of solar collectors have been obtained.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
In a solar domestic hot water system, the ﬂat plate solar collector is the main part of the system. Hence, the optimal performance of the solar collector is highly important. On the other hand, the energy equation alone does not encounter the internal losses; it cannot be a sufﬁcient criterion for the ﬂat plate solar collector efﬁciency. But, the second law analysis is more informative in regard to the optimum operating zone, quantifying the inefﬁciencies, their relative magnitudes and lo cations [1,2] . Therefore, the consideration of this article will be on the detailed energy and exergy analysis of ﬂat plate solar collectors for evaluating the thermal, optical and exergetic per formance and ﬁnding the optimum values of the mass ﬂow rate, the absorber plate area and the maximum exergy efﬁciency under given operating conditions. Much research has been car ried out in this category. In Refs. [3–8] models of thermody namic analysis for solar collectors using concepts such as exergy output, exergy efﬁciency and entropy generation are elaborated. However, it is assumed that the overall loss coefﬁcient is con stant or is computed from the empirical equation that has speciﬁc restrictions. Luminosu and Fara [2] discussed the optimal operation of ﬂat plate solar collector by means of exergy analysis using numerical
* Corresponding author. Tel.: þ 98 541 2426206; fax: þ 98 541 2447092. Email address: fsarhaddi@eng.usb.ac.ir (F. Sarhaddi).
09601481/$ – see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.renene.2008.06.014
simulation technique and ﬁnally gave some useful results for a typical water heating system under given operating conditions. However, they assumed the exergy ﬂow rate in the global solar radiation to be equal to the solar ﬂux; the overall thermal loss coefﬁcient, the heat removal factor, the efﬁciency factor, agent ﬂuid properties and other heat transfer coefﬁcients of the solar collector are constant. Also, they considered the ﬂuid inlet tem perature to be equal to the ambient temperature and constant. They neglected the destroyed exergy caused by the ducts’ pres sure drop. These subjects are not considered in the previous literature [1–8] :
A general model for the collector optical and thermal perfor mance is not fulﬁlled or it is assumed that the overall loss co efﬁcient and other heat transfer coefﬁcients are constant or at minimal effect. The complete optimization with respect to the design and operating conditions is not carried out. Design conditions in clude the dimensions of the solar collector and operating conditions include the mass ﬂow rate of the solar collector. A common error using the Petela efﬁciency equation obtaining the solar radiation exergy is noted.
The previous subjects have been corrected for several types of solar collectors in Refs. [9–11] . In this paper, a procedure to design and optimization of ﬂat plate solar collectors based on exergy analysis is developed. The exergy analysis of the solar collector is parametrically dependent on its optical and energy analysis. Hence,
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S. Farahat et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1169–1174
ﬁrstly the optical and energy analysis of the ﬂat plate solar collector will be carried out. Then, the solar collector exergy efﬁciency will be computed and optimized.
The inlet exergy rate includes the inlet exergy rate with ﬂuid ﬂow and the absorbed solar radiation exergy rate. The inlet exergy rate with ﬂuid ﬂow is given by [13,16]
2. Energy analysis
The proof of governing equations on the solar collector energy analysis is not included to have a brief note [12] . The useful heat gain ( Q _{u} ) by the working ﬂuid is
_
Q _{u} ¼ mC _{p} ð T _{o}_{u}_{t} T _{i}_{n} Þ ;
(1)
where T _{i}_{n} , T _{o}_{u}_{t} , C _{p} and m are the ﬂuid inlet, outlet temperature, heat
capacity and mass ﬂow rate of the agent ﬂuid, respectively. The Hottel–Whillier equation for the useful heat gain ( Q _{u} ) of a ﬂat plate solar collector system, considering the heat losses from the solar collector to the atmosphere, is [12]
_
Q _{u} ¼ A _{p} F _{R} ½ S U _{l} ð T _{i}_{n} T _{a} Þ ;
(2)
where T _{a} is the ambient temperature and the heat removal factor ( F _{R} ) is deﬁned as
F _{R} ¼
mC _
U _{l} A
p 1 exp ^{F} ^{0} ^{U} ^{l} ^{A} ^{p} ;
_{p}
_
mC
_{p}
(3)
where F ^{0} and f are the collector efﬁciency factor and plate effec tiveness. An energy balance on the absorber plate yields the fol lowing equation for a steady state [12] :
Q _{u} ¼ A _{p} S U _{l} A _{p} ^{} T _{p}
T _{a} ^{} :
(4)
In Eqs. (2)–(4) T _{p} , S and A _{p} are the average temperature of the ab sorber plate, radiation absorbed ﬂux by unit area of the absorber plate and area of the absorber plate, respectively. U _{l} is the overall loss coefﬁcient, which during the previous studies assumed as a constant factor or a variable with little effect; whereas it is not constant. The calculation of the overall loss coefﬁcient ( U _{l} ) is based on simulation convection and reradiation losses from the absorber plate to the atmosphere that the proof of them is not included here to have a brief note. Thermal efﬁciency of the solar collector is given by [12]
^{h} en ^{¼}
Q ^{u} I _{T} A _{p}
;
(5)
where I _{T} is the incident solar energy per unit area of the absorber plate.
3. Optical analysis
In Eq. (2) the radiation absorbed ﬂux by unit area of the absorber plate ( S ) is deﬁned as
S
¼ ð saÞ I _{T} ;
(6)
where ( sa) is the effective product transmittance–absorptance that is equal with the optical efﬁciency ( h _{o} ) [12] .
4. Exergy analysis
Exergy is deﬁned as the maximum amount of work which can be produced by a system or a ﬂow of matter or energy as it comes to equilibrium with a reference environment [13] . General form of the exergy balance equation is [14,15]
_
E in þ
_
E _{s} þ
_
E out þ
_
_
E _{l} þ E _{d} ¼ 0 ;
(7)
_
where
destroyed exergy rate, respectively.
_
E in ,
_
E _{s} ,
E out , ^{_}
_
E _{l} and E _{d} are the inlet, stored, outlet, leakage and
_
^{E} in ; f ^{¼}
mC _{p} T _{i}_{n} T _{a} T _{a} ln ^{T} ^{i}^{n}
_
T
a
þ
_
m
DP in
r
:
(8)
The absorbed solar radiation exergy rate, considering the Petela theorem, is given by [17]
E in ; Q ¼ h _{o} I T A p " 1 ^{4}
3
_
^{} T a
T
s
þ
1
3
T a
T
s
4 # :
(9)
The term in the bracket is the Petela efﬁciency ( h _{p} ). However, this equation violates the second law of thermodynamics for such systems [18] . The corrected equation, assuming the sun as an inﬁnite thermal source, is [6,18]
E in ; Q ¼ h _{o} I T A p 1 ^{T} ^{a}
_
_{T} s ;
(10)
where T _{s} is the apparent sun temperature and equals 75% of blackbody temperature of the sun [3] . The summation of Eqs. (8) and (10) will result in total inlet exergy rate of the solar collector. The stored exergy rate is null at steady conditions. The outlet exergy rate includes only the exergy rate of outlet ﬂuid ﬂow [13,16] :
_
^{E} out ; f ^{¼} ^{}
mC _{p} T _{o}_{u}_{t} T _{a} T _{a} ln ^{T} ^{o}^{u}^{t}
_
T
a
_
m
DP out
r
:
(11)
In Eqs. (8) and (11) , DP _{i}_{n} and DP _{o}_{u}_{t} are the pressure difference of the agent ﬂuid with the surroundings at entrance and exit of the solar collector. The leakage exergy rate caused by heat leakage rate from the absorber plate to the environment is [1]
E _{l} ¼ U _{l} A _{p} ^{} T _{p} T _{a} ^{} 1 _{T} p :
_
T a
(12)
The destroyed exergy rate includes three terms; one is caused by the temperature difference between the absorber plate surface and the sun [1] :
E _ _{d} _{;} _{D}_{T} _{s} ¼ h _{o} I _{T} A _{p} T _{a}
1
T p
1
_{T} s ;
(13)
the second term is caused by the ducts’ pressure drop [14,15] :
_
E d ; DP ¼
_{m} _ DP
T _{a} ln ^{T} ^{o}^{u}^{t}
T
a
r ð T out T _{i}_{n}
_{Þ}
(14)
and the third term is caused by the temperature difference between the absorber plate surface and the agent ﬂuid which is given by
[14,15]
_
E d ; DT _{f} ¼
mC _{p} T _{a} ln ^{T} ^{o}^{u}^{t}
_
^{T}
in
^{} _{} ð T _{o}_{u}_{t} T _{i}_{n} Þ
T
p
:
(15)
The solar collector exergy efﬁciency deﬁnes the increase of ﬂuid ﬂow exergy upon the primary radiation exergy by the radiation source. Substituting Eqs. (8)–(15) into Eq. (7) and considering the
S. Farahat et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1169–1174
1171
exergy efﬁciency deﬁnition, the second law efﬁciency equation of the solar collector is derived [1,2,18] :
^{h} ex ^{¼}
m h C _{p} T _{o}_{u}_{t} T _{i}_{n} T _{a} ln ^{T} ^{o}^{u}^{t}
_
^{T} in ^{}^{} ^{} DP
r
I _{T} A _{p} 1 ^{T} ^{a}
T
s
¼ 1 ( ð 1 h _{o} Þ þ
_
_{m}
DP
T _{a} ln ^{T} ^{o}^{u}^{t}
T
a
rI _{T} A _{p} 1 ^{T} ^{a}
T
s
ð T out T _{i}_{n} Þ
þ
^{h} o ^{T} a
1
T s ^{þ}
1
1 ^{T} ^{a}
T
s
T
p
U _{l} ^{} T _{p} T _{a} ^{}
1
I _{T} 1 ^{T} ^{a}
T
s
T a T p
_
þ mC p T a
I _{T} A _{p}
^{} _{l}_{n} ^{} T out
^{T}
in
^{} _{} ð T _{o}_{u}_{t} T _{i}_{n} Þ
T
p
1 ^{T} ^{a}
T
s
9
=
;
ð 16 Þ
The righthand side terms in Eq. (16) indicate the exergy losses.
5. Formulation of the optimization problem
The optical, thermal and exergetic models presented in the previous sections have been transposed into a MATLAB computa tional program. In this program, most of the geometric parameters and operating conditions can be variables. The formulation of the optimization problem, considering the quantities T _{i}_{n} , T _{a} , T _{s} , I _{T} , ( sa), h _{o} , S , V _{a} , L _{3} , D _{i} , etc., as constant parameters, is given by
Maximize h _{e}_{x} ¼ Eq : ð 16 Þ ;
<
_
8
>
>
>
>
> subject to
>
> >
Eqs : ð 1 Þ — ð 6 Þ
> and
>
> >
> 1 A _{p} 10 ;
>
> >
: 0 : 001 m 0 : 009 ; T _{o}_{u}_{t} ; T _{p} ; U _{l} ; Q _{u} ; DP ; C _{p} ; r; F _{R} ; F ^{0} ; f 0 :
where A _{p} and m are the independent parameters and T _{o}_{u}_{t} , T _{p} , U _{l} , Q _{u} ,
DP, C _{p} , r, F _{R} , F ^{0} and f are the dependent parameters in the optimi zation procedure. Whereas, the objective function and its con straints are nonlinear, it has been maximized numerically with MATLAB optimization toolbox. MATLAB uses variations of sequen tial quadratic programming (SQP) method for constrained optimi zation [19] .
_
5.1. The results of the optimization procedure
The selected environmental and design conditions of the solar collector and constant parameters for the optimization procedure are shown in Table 1. For the ﬁxed values in Table 1, the optimization procedure leads to the following optimum values of the objective function, the independent and dependent optimi
zation parameters: h _{e}_{x} ¼ 3.898%, A _{p} ¼ 9.14 m ^{2} , m ¼ 0 : 0087 kg = s,
¼ 358.8248 K, T _{p} ¼ 339.4307 K, U _{l} ¼ 4.6797 W/m ^{2} K, Q _{u} ¼ 2139.4
W/m ^{2} , C _{p} ¼ 4180.4 J/kg K, DP ¼ 0.0011 Pa, h _{e}_{n} ¼ 46.8144%, F _{R} ¼
0.5573, F ^{0} ¼ 0.9114, f ¼ 0.9943, r ¼ 982.2709 kg/m ^{3} .
T out
_
6. Validation of the simulation program
The experimental results of Ref. [2] for the open circuit mode of the solar collector with serpentine ducts allow the checking of the results obtained by computer simulation. A comparison has been made between the computer simulation and experimental results in the average hourly values for the mean monthly day [2] . Table 2
Table 1 Environmental and design conditions for the solar collector 

Collector parameters 
Value 
Type 
Black paint headerriser ﬂat plate Double glass Water Negligible 
Glazing 

Agent ﬂuid in ﬂow ducts Adhesive resistance, 1/ C _{b} 

Length and width of collector 
L _{1} ¼ 1 m, L _{2} ¼ A _{p} / L _{1} m 25 m/s 20 ^{} 300 K 4350 K 0.002 m 0.84 
Wind speed, V _{a} Collector tilt, b Fluid inlet and ambient temperature, T _{i}_{n} z T _{a} 

Apparent sun temperature, T _{s} Plate thickness, d _{p} Effective product transmittance–absorptance or optical efﬁciency, h _{o} ¼ ( sa) Emissivity of the absorber plate, _{3} _{p} Emissivity of the covers, 3 _{c} 

0.92 

0.88 

Glass covers’ distance, d _{1} ¼ d _{2} 
0.04 m 0.08 m 0.04 m 384 W/m K 0.05 W/m K 500 W/m ^{2} 0.15 m 
Thickness of the back insulation, d _{b} Thickness of the sides’ insulation, d _{e} 

Thermal conductivity of the absorber plate, k _{p} Thermal conductivity of the insulation, k _{i} Incident solar energy per unit area of the absorber plate, I _{T} Tubes’ centre to centre distance, W Inner diameter of pipes, D _{i} 

0.04 m 
shows this comparison. The computer simulation results are more accurate than the simulation results of Ref. [2] and are in good agreement with the experimental data of Ref. [2] because of:
the correction of the absorbed solar radiation exergy rate by the solar collector; considering the exergy loss caused by the ducts’ pressure drop; the overall thermal loss coefﬁcient, the heat removal factor, the efﬁciency factor, agent ﬂuid properties and other heat transfer coefﬁcients of the solar collector are assumed to be variables.
On the other hand, the calculated exergy errors compared with those obtained by experimental can be explained as follows:
adhesive resistance of the solar collector is neglected; wind speed is not constant and has direct effect on the overall thermal loss coefﬁcient that can decrease the accuracy of the calculated overall thermal loss coefﬁcient in the computer simulation;
Table 2 Comparison between the computer simulation and experimental results in the av erage hourly values for the mean monthly day
Hourly interval 

8–10 
10–12 
12–14 
14–16 
16–18 
18–20 

Luminosu and Fara [2] C T _{i}_{n} z T _{a} D _{h} (K) C I _{T} D _{h} (W/m ^{2} ) 
301.15 
303.15 
305.15 
307.15 
306.15 
303.15 

503 
795 
788 
489 
397 
293 

C S D _{h} (W/m ^{2} ) 
340 
538 
580 
341 
268 
198 

C T _{o}_{u}_{t}_{.}_{e}_{x}_{p} D _{h} (K) 
328.15 
346.15 
351.15 
335.15 
328.15 
320.15 

C DT D _{h} (K) 
27 
43 
46 
28 
22 
17 

C h _{e}_{n}_{.}_{e}_{x}_{p} D _{h} (%) C h _{e}_{x}_{.}_{e}_{x}_{p} D _{h} (%) C h _{e}_{x}_{.}_{c}_{a}_{l}_{c} D _{h} (%) e _{e}_{x}_{e}_{r}_{g}_{y} (%) 
38 
39 
42 
43 
42 
42 

1.6 
2.5 
2.9 
1.8 
1.4 
1.2 

1.7 
2.6 
3 
1.7 
1.3 
1.1 

6.3 
4.0 
3.4 
5.5 
7.1 
8.3 

Present work 

C U _{l}_{.}_{c}_{a}_{l}_{c} D _{h} (W/m ^{2} K) 
4.48 
4.67 
4.75 
4.63 
4.56 
4.47 

C T _{o}_{u}_{t}_{.}_{c}_{a}_{l}_{c} D _{h} (K) C h _{e}_{n}_{.}_{c}_{a}_{l}_{c} D _{h} (%) C h _{e}_{x}_{.}_{e}_{x}_{p} D _{h} (%) C h _{e}_{x}_{.}_{c}_{a}_{l}_{c} D _{h} (%) e _{e}_{x}_{e}_{r}_{g}_{y} (%) 
328.99 
346.56 
351.82 
335.83 
329.04 
321.51 

39.61 
39.09 
42.42 
41.97 
31.25 
44.84 

1.6 
2.5 
2.9 
1.8 
1.4 
1.2 

1.65 
2.55 
2.95 
1.76 
1.36 
1.16 

3.12 
2 
1.72 
2.22 
2.85 
3.33 
1172
S. Farahat et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1169–1174
the effective product of the transmittance–absorptance (optical efﬁciency) assumed constant is changing during the day to gether with the change of the incidence angle of the solar ra diation on the solar collector; the assumption that the water temperature at collector inlet could be approximated by the environmental temperature is not fulﬁlled in the real case; when the serpentine solar collector has 10 or more bends (as expected in practical situations), the heat removal factor is approximated from Eq. (3) (Hottel–Whillier equation). How ever, this equation has errors for low mass ﬂow rate and few tube bends in the serpentine solar collector [20] ; the radiative properties of the solar collector surfaces are as sumed constant.
7. Results and discussion
Fig. 1 shows the behavior of the exergy efﬁciency as a function of the mass ﬂow rate of ﬂuid and the absorber plate area, it is pre sented to a range of operational and design conditions where the exergy efﬁciency takes a global maximum value. The incremented _{q}_{u}_{a}_{n}_{t}_{i}_{t}_{i}_{e}_{s} _{a}_{r}_{e} _{t}_{h}_{e} _{a}_{b}_{s}_{o}_{r}_{b}_{e}_{r} _{p}_{l}_{a}_{t}_{e} _{a}_{r}_{e}_{a} _{f}_{r}_{o}_{m} _{1} _{t}_{o} _{1}_{0} _{m} ^{2} _{a}_{n}_{d} _{t}_{h}_{e} _{m}_{a}_{s}_{s}
Fig. 1. The variations of the exergy efﬁciency according to the mass ﬂow rate of ﬂuid and absorber plate area.
Fig. 3. The variations of the exergy efﬁciency versus the pipes’ diameter.
ﬂow rate of ﬂuid from 0.001 to 0.009 kg/s. The calculated values for
the global maximum point are A _{p} ¼ 9.14 m ^{2} , m ¼ 0 : 0087 kg = s,
h _{e}_{x} ¼ 3.898%. As seen, the coordinate of the maximum point
equal with the values of optimized parameters. Increasing the mass
ﬂow rate above the value of m ¼ 0 : 0087 kg = s determines the nonchange of exergy efﬁciency for A _{p} ¼ 9.14 m ^{2} . This subject allows the designer to optimize the solar collector regarding other con
ditions such as design limitations and thermal applications.
Whereas, decreasing the mass ﬂow rate below the value of
m _ ¼ 0 : 0087 kg = s determines the sensible decrease of exergy efﬁ ciency for A _{p} ¼ 9.14 m ^{2} and this subject shows the danger range more clearly. Fig. 2 shows the effect of ﬂuid inlet temperature on the exergy efﬁciency. By increasing the ﬂuid inlet temperature until the value of T _{i}_{n} z 315 K, the exergy efﬁciency increases and then decreases quickly. In a closed circuit solar collector system, since the agent
ﬂuid works in a closed loop, if agent ﬂuid is not used in a deﬁnite time range, the ﬂuid temperature of the storage tank is increased and subsequently the temperature of ﬂuid inlet and the exergy efﬁciency are increased. Fig. 3 shows the variations of the exergy efﬁciency versus the pipes’ diameter. By increasing the pipes’
_
is
_
Fig. 2. The variations of the exergy efﬁciency versus the ﬂuid inlet temperature.
Fig. 4. The variations of the exergy efﬁciency versus the ambient temperature.
S. Farahat et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1169–1174
1173
Fig. 5. The variations of the exergy efﬁciency versus the wind speed.
Fig. 6. The variations of the exergy efﬁciency versus the optical efﬁciency.
Fig. 7. The variations of the exergy efﬁciency versus the incident solar energy per unit area of absorber plate.
diameter from 0.01 to 0.05 m, the exergy efﬁciency has a slight increase. Fig. 4 shows the ambient temperature effect on the exergy efﬁciency. Increasing the ambient temperature from 300 to 313 K determines the sensible decrease of the exergy efﬁciency. Since the ambient temperature changes during the day, for having the maximum exergy efﬁciency other parameters and the solar col lector operating conditions should change during the day. Fig. 5 shows the variations of the exergy efﬁciency versus the wind speed. Increasing the wind speed from 0.001 to 50 m/s determines the sensible decrease of the exergy efﬁciency from 5 to 3.8%. Fig. 6 shows the optical efﬁciency effect on the exergy efﬁciency. By in creasing the optical efﬁciency from 0.01 to 100%, the exergy efﬁ ciency increases from 0 to 5.4%. Fig. 7 shows the variations of the exergy efﬁciency with respect to the incident solar energy per unit area of the absorber plate. By increasing this parameter from 50 to 1000 W/m ^{2} , the exergy efﬁciency increases.
8. Concluding remarks
1. The overall loss coefﬁcient is not a constant parameter. The precise calculation of this parameter increases the accuracy of the exergy efﬁciency. The optical efﬁciency has a great effect on the exergy efﬁciency. By using the ﬂat plate solar collectors with optical concentrators, the optical efﬁciency increases.
2. The energy efﬁciency increases without extremum points with operating parameters. The absence of such maximum points has created difﬁculties in the design of ﬂat plate solar collec tors. However, the exergy efﬁciency presents points of local maxima and a point of global maximum.
3. By increasing the incident solar energy per unit area of the absorber plate, the exergy efﬁciency increases. The exergy ef ﬁciency decreases rapidly when the ambient temperature and the wind speed increase. Since these parameters change during the day, for having the maximum exergy efﬁciency other pa rameters and the solar collector operating conditions should change during the day and the design of solar collector should be based on the daily average of these parameters.
4. Increasing the ﬂuid inlet temperature increases the exergy ef ﬁciency but there is a maximum point for the ﬂuid inlet tem perature where the exergy efﬁciency decreases quickly.
5. The design parameters such as pipes’ diameter have a little effect on the exergy efﬁciency.
6. The analysis presented in this paper can be used for the ther modynamic design of similar systems, establishing the optimal operation parameters for a given set of conditions. The exergy analysis is more informative in regard to optimum operating zone, quantifying the inefﬁciencies, their relative magnitudes and locations and unlike other optimization methods, this method decreases internal irreversibilities, which is very important.
Appendix A. Nomenclature
A
C p 1/ C _{b}
D diameter (m)
area (m ^{2} ) heat capacity of the ﬂuid (kJ/kg K) adhesive resistance (W/m ^{2} K)
_
E
F ^{0}
F _{R}
I solar radiation intensity (W/m ^{2} )
k conductivity (W/m K)
L dimensions of collector (m)
m mass ﬂow rate (kg/s)
exergy rate (J/s) collector efﬁciency factor heat removal factor
_
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S. Farahat et al. / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 1169–1174
P 
ﬂuid pressure (Pa) 
T 
incident 
Q 
heat transfer rate (W) 
u 
useful 
S 
radiation absorbed ﬂux (W/m ^{2} ) 

T 
temperature (K) 
Statistics symbols 

U 
collector loss coefﬁcient (W/m ^{2} K) 
C D _{h} 
hourly average 
V 
speed, velocity (m/s) 

W 
tubes’ centre to centre distance (m) 
References 
Greek symbols
a 
absorptance 
b 
collector tilt ( ^{} ) 
D 
difference in pressure or temperature 
d 
distance or thickness (m) 
e 
error (%) 
3 
emissivity 
h 
efﬁciency (%) 
s 
transmittance 
f 
plate effectiveness 
r 
density (kg/m ^{3} ) 
( sa) 
effective product transmittance–absorptance 
Subscripts
1 
ﬁrst, length 
2 
second, width 
3 
height 
a 
ambient, adhesive, wind 
b 
back 
c 
cover 
calc 
calculated 
d 
destroyed 
e 
side 
en 
energy 
ex 
exergy 
exp 
experimental 
exergy 
exergy efﬁciency 
f 
ﬂuid 
h 
hot, hourly 
i 
inner, insulation 
in 
inlet 
l 
leakage, overall 
m 
monthly 
o 
optical 
out 
outlet 
p 
absorber plate, Petela 
Q 
heat transfer 
s 
stored, sun 
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