The efficient collection and long term storage of solar energy in the UK, using air as the working fluid.
This thesis describes the results of four years work on the
design, construction, testing and evaluation of a high
performance air heating collector designed to supply heat to
a communal interseasonal store, which could heat many houses
all the year round in the U.K.
Interseasonal storage utilizing a pebble bed was investigated
but shown to be costly both in terms of money and energy.
The performance of medium to high temperature storage is
shown to improve with high performance collectors.
The level of insulation specified in the 1978 Building
Regulations is found to be inadequate for solar heating with
long and short term storage, because it is more economic to
add more insulation than to install solar heating.
While investigating the interseasonal storage of solar energy
in pebble beds, data on the design and operation of air
heating solar collectors was found lacking. Therefore the
development and testing of both a high and low performance
solar air heater was undertaken.
The standard methods of testing collectors and in particular
high performance collectors are shown not to provide an
adequate method of comparing the daily efficiency of various
types of collectors. Methods of testing air collectors are presented under transient conditions more representative of
collector operation in the U.K. The parameters affecting
high performance collectors are examined, in particular the
reduction of heat loss between cover and absorber, and the
effect on performance of diffuse and transient radiation.
Results are also presented for testing a low cost plastic