Special Issue "Solar Thermal Systems"

A special issue of Applied System Innovation (ISSN 2571-5577).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Sergio Nardini

Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Via Roma 29, 81031 Aversa (CE), Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: active solar systems; passive solar systems; heat conduction in solids irradiated by moving heat sources; natural and mixed convection in material processing and in thermal control of electronic equipments; thermal characterization of nanofluids, heat transfer with porous media; forecast of energy consumption

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research on solar thermal energy conversion has received, and is still receiving, attention for its importance to reduce fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. With COP 21, nations across the world agreed to accelerate their reductions in carbon emissions. Thermal energy comprises nearly half of the final global energy consumption, of which one third belongs to industry. The remarkable progress that has been made in cost reduction and commercial deployment of solar thermal energy technologies underlines the benefits of investment in R&D and indicates the promise of, and necessity for, continued innovation to produce further advances in the field. Hence, there is the need of researches on higher efficiencies, lower costs, improved scalability, and new functionality of energy thermal components and systems. Nowadays the main aims of the researches are both the seeking of new configurations and on the use of micro and nano technologies in energy thermal components and systems.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect original research articles, as well as review articles, on the most recent developments and research efforts in this field, with the purpose of providing guidelines for future research directions. Potential topics of include, but are not limited to:

  • Solar collectors analysis and design;
  • Thermal energy storage;
  • Active solar heating and cooling systems;
  • Solar heat for residential and industrial uses;
  • Passive solar heating and cooling.
Prof. Dr. Sergio Nardini

Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied System Innovation is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Solar collectors
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Active solar heating and cooling systems
  • Solar heat for residential and industrial uses
  • Passive solar heating and cooling.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Numerical Simulation of an Aluminum Container including a Phase Change Material for Cooling Energy Storage
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2018, 1(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi1030034
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 19 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
Thermal energy storage systems can be determinant for an effective use of solar energy, as they allow to decouple the thermal energy production by the solar source from thermal loads, and thus allowing solar energy to be exploited also during nighttime and cloudy
[...] Read more.
Thermal energy storage systems can be determinant for an effective use of solar energy, as they allow to decouple the thermal energy production by the solar source from thermal loads, and thus allowing solar energy to be exploited also during nighttime and cloudy periods. The current study deals with the modelling and simulation of a cooling thermal energy storage unit consisting of an aluminum container partially filled with a phase change material (PCM). Two unsteady models are implemented and discussed, namely a conduction-based model and a conduction-convection-based one. The equations systems relative to both the models are solved by means of the Comsol Multiphysics finite element solver, and results are presented in terms of temporal variation of temperature in different points inside the PCM, of the volume average liquid fraction, and of the cooling energy stored and released through the aluminum container external surface during the charge and discharge, respectively. Moreover, the numerical results obtained by the implementation of the above different models are compared with experimental ones obtained with a climatic chamber. The comparison between numerical and experimental results indicate that, for the considered cooling energy storage unit, free convection plays a crucial role in the heat transfer inside the liquid PCM and cannot be neglected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thermal Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Solar Hybrid Micro Gas Turbine Based on Turbocharger
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2018, 1(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi1030027
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
The performance of solar hybrid Brayton cycle materialized by a micro-gas turbine based on a turbocharger is studied. The use of a turbocharger is aimed at investment cost reduction and construction simplification. Two configurations are investigated, namely hybrid and solar-only. Design aspects are
[...] Read more.
The performance of solar hybrid Brayton cycle materialized by a micro-gas turbine based on a turbocharger is studied. The use of a turbocharger is aimed at investment cost reduction and construction simplification. Two configurations are investigated, namely hybrid and solar-only. Design aspects are discussed, in view of the requirement for minimizing the cost of electricity produced. A key parameter is the turbine inlet temperature and its effect on performance is investigated. The effect of heliostat field size is also investigated. Augmentation of the maximum temperature leads to better performance, as a result of higher cycle efficiency. Solar-only configuration features are compared with hybrid ones and the contribution of different cost components to the final electricity cost is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thermal Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Principles of Product Design in Developing Countries
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2018, 1(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi1020011
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Abstract
Problem—The conventional view of new product development (NPD) methodologies focuses on marketing and commercial prospects in developed countries. There is a need to identify both the barriers and the enablers to design within a rural context in developing countries (DC). Method—A
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Problem—The conventional view of new product development (NPD) methodologies focuses on marketing and commercial prospects in developed countries. There is a need to identify both the barriers and the enablers to design within a rural context in developing countries (DC). Method—A researcher was embedded in a rural DC design project. Issues were observed and critical success and failure factors determined. These were abstracted into a set of design principles, and a new model of the NPD process was created. Findings—Whereas commercial NPD emphasizes market intelligence and a highly directive approach to the engineering workflow, in the DC situation the objective is to fulfil community needs and this necessitates co-determination regarding the engineering. There is commonality between the two NPD processes, with ours having a greater emphasis on the socio-cultural factors. The deployment principles are categorized into technical and socio-cultural. Within these are included project management, design, material selection, visualization, communication, maintainability, safety, and health. Originality—A novel representation of the process for conducting design in developing countries is provided. Critical success factors are identified. The socio-cultural perspective is explicitly included, which is absent from the conventional engineering and business perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thermal Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Realistic Approach of the Maximum Work Extraction from Solar Thermal Collectors
Appl. Syst. Innov. 2018, 1(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/asi1010006
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
In this study, the maximum work extraction from the incident solar energy on solar thermal collectors is investigated by coupling solar collectors with a Carnot machine. A simplified thermal model for the solar collector performance is developed in which the radiation losses play
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In this study, the maximum work extraction from the incident solar energy on solar thermal collectors is investigated by coupling solar collectors with a Carnot machine. A simplified thermal model for the solar collector performance is developed in which the radiation losses play a significant role. In every examined case, the optimum operating temperature that leads to maximum work extraction is calculated. The final results are presented parametrically, covering a great variety of real solar collectors. Moreover, the validation procedure of the developed model proves high accuracy. The results show that non-concentrating collectors should operate up to 400 K while concentrating collectors in higher temperature levels. More specifically, a parabolic trough collector can operate efficiently in temperature levels up to 850 K, while solar dish collectors can operate efficiently in temperature levels up to 1100 K. The results of this study can be exploited for the preliminary design and optimization of solar thermal systems. Moreover, a clear and realistic upper limit concerning the exergy production of solar irradiation with solar thermal collectors is given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thermal Systems)
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