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Title: Predicted and in situ performance of a solar air collector incorporating a translucent granular aerogel cover
Authors: Dowson, M
Pegg, I
Harrison, DJ
Dehouche, Z
Keywords: Silica aerogel
Granular aerogel
Flat plate collector
Solar–air heater
Transparent insulation
Domestic retrofit
Mechanical ventilation
Heat recovery
Publication Date: 2012
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Energy and Buildings, 49: 173-187, Jun 2012
Abstract: There is an opportunity to improve the efficiency of flat plate solar air collectors by replacing their conventional glass covers with lightweight polycarbonate panels filled with high performance aerogel insulation. The in situ performance of a 5.4m2 solar air collector containing granular aerogel is simulated and tested. The collector is incorporated into the external insulation of a mechanically ventilated end terrace house, recently refurbished in London, UK. During the 7 day test period, peak outlet temperatures up to 45 °C are observed. Resultant supply and internal air temperatures peak at 25–30 and 21–22 °C respectively. Peak efficiencies of 22–36% are calculated based on the proposed design across a range of cover types. Measured outlet temperatures are validated to within 5% of their predicted values. Estimated outputs range from 118 to 166 kWh/m2/year for collectors with different thickness granular aerogel covers, compared to 110 kWh/m2/year for a single glazed collector, 140 k h/m2/year for a double glazed collector and 202 kWh/m2/year for a collector incorporating high performance monolithic aerogel. Payback periods of 9–16 years are calculated across all cover types. An efficiency up to 60% and a payback period as low as 4.5 years is possible with an optimised collector incorporating a 10 mm thick granular aerogel cover.
Description: This is the post-print version of the Article. The official published version can be accessed from the link below - Copyright @ 2012 Elsevier
Sponsorship: This work is supported by the EPSRC, Brunel University, Buro Happold Ltd. and the Technology Strategy Board.
ISSN: 0378-7788
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Research Papers
Dept of Design Research Papers

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