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Title: Polymeric solar-thermal flat-plate collectors
Author: Reiter, Christoph Nikolaus
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 8028
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2014
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State-of-the-art solar-thermal flat-plate collectors suffer from a limited potential to decrease production costs for the necessary higher economic benefit of so-lar-thermal systems. Costly metallic materials and corresponding manufactur-ing processes prevent further cost reductions. For that issues, plastic materials can offer a promising approach. The main hurdle for the use of cost-effective plastics lies in the high thermal loads on the collector components — absorber and insulation — which were identified in a field-testing. The necessary overheating protection approaches to lower these thermal loads were investigated in a literature review. A large number of relevant concepts was evaluated related to achievable temperature reduction, influence on solar yield, additional costs and intrinsic safety. There-fore, a mathematical model was developed to determine the solar-thermal col-lector´s behaviour in a solar-thermal system for hot water and space heating. This way, the most promising overheating concepts were simulated and ana-lysed with regard to component temperatures and system performance. Omitting the selective absorber coating and reducing the backside insulation was found to be the most suitable solution for component materials with limited temperature resistance like polypropylene. In the second part of the research, collector design concepts were developed on the basis of the characteristics of plastic material processing. The identified unit costs showed savings of more than 50 % in comparison to stateof- the-art collectors. The analysis regarding temperature loads and annual solar yield by simulation proved the performance of the concepts. The collector costs and the simulation results were used to define the total costs of the solar-thermal sys-tems and to evaluate the economic benefits by means of the collector con-cepts. The benefits were similar to state-of-the-art set-ups. Thus, further adjustments at system level are necessary to lower the total costs. Therefore, the system set-up has to be harmonised with the collector requirements and investigated in detail.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Solar ; Collector ; Plastic ; Overheating Protection ; Simulation