A full-scale and model study of convective heat transfer from roof mounted flat-plate solar collectors
This study is concerned with the convective heat transfer, due to the action of the wind, from the upper surface of roof mounted flat plate solar collectors. The ability to predict the quantity of heat transferred from a collector, in this manner, is necessary in order to facilitate the evaluation of the overall efficiency of a collector panel. Previous methods of determining this convection coefficient have generally relied upon extrapolations of small scale wind tunnel results to full-scale values. The validity of these methods is questionable, and it was found that there was a lack of full-scale data relating to the convection coefficient from the upper surface of a flat-plate collector. It was also found that no systematic attempt to relate model results to full scale values had been made. Full-scale experiments have been performed to evaluate the convective heat transfer coefficient, h, from the upper surface of a roof mounted flat plate. The convection coefficient was found to be dependent upon the wind speed as measured above the roof ridge line, V 6R, and to some extent upon the direction of the prevailing wind, G. Relationships between h and V 6R are presented, as are relationships between h and VH (the wind speed measured at the mid-panel height) and h and V 10 (the meteorological 10m wind speed). Small scale wind tunnel experiments were also performed. This was in order to assess the potential of using wind tunnel model results to predict accurately full-scale convective heat losses. These experiments showed some qualitative agreement with the full-scale tests. However, extrapolation of these model results to full-scale values rendered heat transfer coefficients in excess of those found in the full-scale work. Therefore the use of previously derived full-scale results from wind tunnel studies must be treated with caution. It is suggested that the full-scale results, presented here, represent a more satisfactory means of evaluating the convective heat transfer from the upper surface of roof mounted flat plate solar collectors.