# DESIGN AND MODELING THE Φ-F

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1 powered by DESIGN AND MODELING THE Φ-F CHART METHOD FOR ACTIVE SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS Authors: S. Poles, M. Venturin Keywords: Scilab; Solar energy systems; φ-f chart method Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show how to implement the φ-f chart method with Scilab. This model can be used to calculate the solar fraction for hot water production with respect to the global request. This Scilab code can be used to estimate the thermal performance of solar energy systems for domestic water, industrial process heating, and space heating systems where the thermodynamics cycle efficiency is independent of the heat supply temperature. Contacts This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. EnginSoft SpA - Via della Stazione, Mattarello di Trento P.I. e C.F. IT

2 1. Introduction In this paper we describe and model the φ-f chart method with Scilab. The φ-f chart method is a simulation technique used in solar energy systems for heating and cooling. This method is particularly useful for sizing system components. The difficulty of sizing system s components lies in the fact that these systems are influenced both by predictable data (e.g. collectors, storage tanks, ) and unpredictable data such as weather data. The φ-f chart method is applied to the closed loop solar energy system as reported in Figure 1. This method is particularly useful in the simulation of absorption refrigerators, industrial process heating, and space heating systems where the thermodynamics cycle efficiency is independent of the heat supply temperature. Figure 1: Schematic diagram of a closed loop solar energy system This system is composed by a solar collector array designed to collect heat by absorbing sunlight. After, the heat is transferred to the storage tank through a heat exchanger which separates the fluid used in the solar collector from water contained in the storage tank. Then the heat is transferred to the load through a circuit with an auxiliary heater that possibly compensates to reach the minimum required temperature. The formulation of the system of equations yields to a nonlinear system of 12 equations in 12 unknowns that is solved in Scilab using the function fsolve. The paper is organized as follows. First we present the system equations for the φ-f chart method and then we apply the system to an example. page 2/13

3 2. The φ-f chart method In this section we only report the formula used in the implementation of the φ-f chart method. For a more detailed description see references [1], [2] and [3] Symbols Table 1 refers to the problem unknowns while Table 2 reports all the used nomenclature. Table 1: Problem unknowns Variable Description Units Solar fraction Total fraction of the monthly load supply by solar energy Total monthly heat demand Storage tank losses for month Inlet collector fluid temperature Useful energy temperature Monthly average storage tank temperature [J] [J] Modified sensibility factor of the thermal losses Dimensionless average daily critical level of the solar collector Minimum of the dimensionless average daily critical level of the solar collector Ratio of the absorbed solar energy to the cooling load Maximum monthly average daily utilizability Table 2: Nomenclature Variable Description Units,, Fitting constants of equation Collector area [m 2 ] Specific heat capacity [J/kg K] Minimum capacitance of the two fluid stream in the heat exchanger [W/ C] page 3/13

4 Collector overall heat removal efficiency factor Corrected factor Solar fraction Total fraction of the monthly load supply by solar energy Monthly average daily total solar radiation on a horizontal surface [Jm -2 ] Monthly average daily extraterrestrial solar radiation [J/m 2 ] Monthly average daily total solar radiation on the collector surface [Jm -2 ] Clearness index Heat required Process required heat rate Total monthly heat demand Actual mass of storage capacity [J] [W] [J] [kg] Numbers of days in a month Storage tank losses for month Ratio of the diffuse solar radiation at solar noon to the daily total radiation on a horizontal surface Ratio of the monthly average daily total radiation on a tilted surface to that on a horizontal surface Ratio of radiation on a tilted surface to that on a horizontal surface at noon Ratio of standard storage heat capacity per unit of collector area of 350 kj/m 2 - C to actual storage capacity Ambient temperature Inlet collector fluid temperature Minimum required temperature Useful energy temperature Monthly average storage tank temperature Environment storage temperature [J] page 4/13

5 Overall loss coefficient-area product of the storage tank Collector overall energy loss coefficient [W/K] [W/m 2 K]; Modified sensibility factor of the thermal losses Dimensionless average daily critical level of the solar collector Minimum of the dimensionless average daily critical level of the solar collector Ratio of the absorbed solar energy to the cooling load,,, Constants fitting data of equation Effectiveness of the load heat exchanger Total number of seconds in a month Number of seconds during a month the load is required [s] [s] Monthly average energy transmittance absorptance product Transmittance absorptance product for radiation at normal incidence Monthly average daily collector utilizability Maximum monthly average daily utilizability page 5/13

6 2.2. Equations 1 and 2 In the definition of the φ-f chart method it necessary to introduce two adimensional factors given by and (1) (2) where ; Equations 3 and 4 The total monthly heat demand loss is sum of the monthly heat user demand and the storage tank (3) where the storage tank losses for month are given by the relation (4) The heat required is given by where ; 2.4. Equations 5 The term is related to the total fraction of the monthly load supplied by solar energy term, the relation is: (5) page 6/13

7 where is given by the relation is known as specific storage Equations 6 and 7 The average daily utilizability is given from the formula (6) where relates to the clearness index by the relation (7) where: All constants come from experimental data fitting as reported in [1, 2, and 3] Equations 8 and 9 The term is equal to (8) where The is the minimum of the dimensionless average daily critical level of the solar collector which can be computed as (9) page 7/13

8 2.1. Equations 10 For the temperature in the storage tank we have the following equation: (10) 2.2. Equations 11 The heat exchanger adds a resistive between the storage tank and the load. Doing so, it reduces the useful energy and increase storage tank losses. This can be modeled by the following formula: (11) 2.3. Equations 12 The solar fraction can be related to the total fraction of the monthly load supplied by solar energy and to the useful load by the relation: 2.4. Expressions The above formula requires the evaluation of some solar constants such as,. This is done starting from the data where the plant is located like latitude, tilt angle of solar collector, etc. See [1], [2] and [3] for further details. (12) page 8/13

9 3. Example An industrial process heat system has a 100 m 2 collector. The system is located in Rome ( N latitude), and the collector characteristics are W/ m 2 - C,, tilted at 40 (south orientation). The process requires heat at a rate of 20 kw at a temperature of 70 C for 8 h each day. The Specific storage is 120 kg m -2 of water and the tank has an overall loss coefficient WK -1. The heat exchanger has effectiveness and WK -1. Results are reported in the following tables and figures. Table 3: Problem data month H_mean K_t R_mean R_n tau_alpha T_a L [J] E E E E E E E E E E E E+10 Table 4: Numerical results month X_c X_c_min X Y phi_max T_i T_p_min T_s L_tot [J/month] Q_s [J] f f_tot E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E page 9/13

10 Figure 2: Numerical results during the 12 months. From top to bottom: energies, temperatures, factors, fractions, Q_s/L and H_mean. page 10/13

11 4. Varying the parameters In this section we provide some results about parameters variation. The previous example is here simulated by varying one parameter at once. The following figures report the solar fraction for hot water production during the year. Figure 3 shows the solar fraction during the year for three different collecting areas: 80 m 2, 90 m 2, 100 m 2. It is evident that increasing the collecting area, the faction increases. Moreover we may notice that the highest fraction in Rome is reached in July. This is due to the maximum value of the incident solar radiation (see H_mean chart in the previous section). Figure 3: Solar fraction with different collecting areas. Figure 4 describes the behavior of the solar fraction during the year for three different tilt angles of the solar collector: 20, 30, and 40. It is visible that configurations with lower angles are better during the summer and higher values of angles are better during the winter. This is due to the sun s apparent position during the year. In few words, this means that a fixed tilt angle cannot be optimal for all the months and that an automatic change in the inclination could be advisable. page 11/13

12 Figure 4: Solar fraction with three different tilt angles of solar collector. Figure 5 shows the behavior of the solar fraction during the year for three different specific storages: 80 kg/m 2, 100 kg/m 2, 120 kg/m 2. This behavior is very simple, the more the mass, the more the fraction. The effect is more visible during the summer than during the winter. Figure 5: Solar fraction with different specific storages. Figure 5 contains the last set of experiments that have been carried out by changing the minimum required temperature. The experiments have been done for three different values: 60 C, 65 C, and 70 C. The effect is simple all year round, the less the requirement, the higher the solar fraction. page 12/13

13 Figure 6: Solar fraction with different minimum temperature requirements. 5. Conclusion We developed a Scilab module for the study of solar energy systems using the well-known φ-f chart method. This model is completely parameterized and very fast. The advantage of having such a kind of model is that it may return within few seconds all relevant system quantities necessary to calibrate an optimal system. The presented model is intended to be integrated with costs, allowing engineers to design the most appropriate solar energy systems at the minimum cost. This can be done directly within Scilab using one of the available optimization algorithms [4]. 6. References [1] R. Lazzarin, Sistemi solari attivi, F. Muzzio editore, 1981 [2] S. Kalogirou, Solar energy engineering, processes and systems, Academic Press 2009 [3] A. Duffie, W. A. Beckman, Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, John Wiley & Sons, 1991 [4] M. Margonari, Multiobjective optimization with open source software, Openeering website page 13/13

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