Predicted efficiency of a nanofluid-based direct absorption solar receiver

Himanshu Tyagi, Patrick Phelan, Ravi Prasher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

71 Scopus citations


Due to its renewable and non-polluting nature solar energy is often used in applications such as electricity generation, thermal heating and chemical processing. The most cost-effective solar heaters are of the "flat-plate" type, but these suffer from relatively low efficiency and outlet temperatures. The present study theoretically investigates the feasibility of using a direct absorption solar receiver (DAR) and compares its performance with that of a typical flat-plate collector. Here a nanofluid - a mixture of water and aluminum nanoparticles - is used as the absorbing medium. A two-dimensional heat transfer analysis was developed in which direct sunlight was incident on a thin flowing film of nanofluid. The effects of absorption and scattering within the nanofluid were accounted for. In order to evaluate the temperature profile and intensity distribution within the nanofluid the energy balance equation and heat transport equation were solved numerically. It was observed that the presence of nanoparticles increases the absorption of incident radiation by more than 9 times over that of pure water. According to the results obtained from this study, under similar operating conditions, the efficiency of a DAR using nanofluid as the working fluid is found to be up to 10% higher (on an absolute basis) than that of a flat-plate collector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Energy Sustainability Conference 2007
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2007
Event2007 Energy Sustainability Conference - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2007Jun 30 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Energy Sustainability Conference 2007


Other2007 Energy Sustainability Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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