Table of Contents
ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2011, Article ID 851764, 13 pages
Research Article

Experimental Performance of Solar Receivers Designed to Use Oil as a Heat Transfer Fluid

Physics Department, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, P.O. Box 280, Zomba, Malawi

Received 27 June 2011; Accepted 1 August 2011

Academic Editors: R. S. Adhikari and P. Tsilingiris

Copyright © 2011 J. S. P. Mlatho. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A parabolic dish concentrator (PDC) has been designed to be used for charging a thermal energy storage (TES) that is for indirect cooking purpose. Three different receivers have been designed, fabricated, and their performance tested experimentally. The three designs are Volumetric Flask (VF), Volumetric Box (VB), and Conical Tube (CT) receivers. The receivers have been fabricated to use oil as a heat transfer fluid. Of the three designs, the CT receiver has the highest efficiency for a given flow rate, thus making it the best receiver. A positive displacement pump was also designed and constructed for the experimental tests. The pump is used to drive the oil through the receivers and also to act as a flow meter. Thus a low-cost and high-temperature positive displacement pump and a flow meter have been designed and fabricated for use in solar thermal studies.