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 EPE  Vol.9 No.3 , March 2017
Two-Dimension Numerical Simulation of Parabolic Trough Solar Collector: Far North Region of Cameroon
Abstract: Cameroon lives in the era of great infrastructures in order to reach the economic emergence by 2035. These infrastructures require a solid framework of energy provisions from many natural energy sources and resources that the country possesses. Speaking of natural energy resources, the country is particularly gifted by solar energy potential in the far north. This region of the land is densely populated but much of the populations do not have access to electricity since they live in remote areas far from national electricity grid. Solar thermal energy appears then as real potential to fulfill the growing demand of energy and reduce fossil fuel use dependence. Moreover, it would also be a grandiose opportunity for hospitals in these regions to provide hot water for Sterilization. As the design of a solar thermal plant strongly relies on the potential of direct solar irradiance and the performance of a solar parabolic trough collector (PTC) estimated under the local climate conditions, in this paper, we annually compute direct solar radiation based on monthly average Linke turbidity factor and various tracking modes in two chosen sites in the far north region of Cameroon. Also, a detailed two dimensional numerical heat transfer analysis of a PTC has been performed. The receiver has been divided into many control volumes along his length and each of them is a column consisting of glass, vacuum, absorber and fluid along which mass and energy balance have been applied. Direct solar irradiation, ambient temperature optical and thermal analyses of the collector receiver takes into consideration all modes of heat transfer and the nonlinear algebraic equations were solved simultaneously at each instant during a day of computation using Engineering Equation Solver (EES). To validate the numerical results, the model was compared with experimental data obtained from Sandia National Laboratory (SNL). It has shown a great concordance with a maximum relative error value of 0.35% and thermal efficiency range of systems about 66.67% - 73.2%. It has also been found that the one axis polar East-West and horizontal East-West tracking with 96% and 94% of full tracking mode respectively, were most suitable for a parabolic trough collector throughout the whole year in the two towns considered.
Cite this paper: Keou, C. , Njomo, D. , Sambou, V. , Finiavana, A. and Tidiane, A. (2017) Two-Dimension Numerical Simulation of Parabolic Trough Solar Collector: Far North Region of Cameroon. Energy and Power Engineering, 9, 147-169. doi: 10.4236/epe.2017.93012.
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