VDAS TE39 - Experiment

FLAT PLATE SOLAR THERMAL ENERGY COLLECTOR

A portable floor standing apparatus to demonstrate and investigate the performance of a flat plate solar energy collector.

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This equipment shows how a flat plate solar energy collector works. It allows students to measure and find the efficiency and heat losses of a flat plate solar energy collector. 

The collector has a purpose designed and built panel for quality and reliability. The panel has a thin sheet metal absorber backed by riser tubes and insulating material to reduce heat loss to the rear. A box with a clear cover encloses the panel, forming the collector. A sturdy mobile frame supports the collector. To allow users to adjust its angle, the frame has a hinge. 

Cold mains water enters the collector. Sunlight energy heats the water in the collector. The heated water returns to a pump that mixes the heated water with the incoming cold water. A pressure sensitive valve allows the heated water to leave the equipment at the same rate as cold water enters it. A flow transducer measures the water flow rate and a solarimeter (or pyranometer) measures incident radiation. 

Thermocouples measure the water temperature at all the important points, and the shade temperature. The separate Instrumentation Unit displays the temperatures from the thermocouples, the flow rate and the radiation intensity. It includes a switch to control the pump and a socket for connection to TecQuipment’s optional VDAS®. 

For quick and reliable tests, TecQuipment can supply the optional VDAS® (Versatile Data Acquisition System). VDAS® gives accurate real-time data capture, monitoring and display, calculation and charting of all the important readings on a computer. To compare efficiencies, the Flat Plate Solar Energy Collector is an ideal companion to TecQuipment’s Focusing Solar Energy Collector (TE38).

  • Efficiency of the collector
  • Efficiency and heat losses
  • Further experiments on the effect of collector angle.
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