Table of Contents
ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 104686, 7 pages
Research Article

Numerical Study of Natural Convection Heat Loss from Cylindrical Solar Cavity Receivers

7 Trinity Enclave, Old Madras Road, Bangalore 560093, India

Received 12 November 2013; Accepted 16 December 2013; Published 23 January 2014

Academic Editors: T.-H. Meen and V. Strezov

Copyright © 2014 M. Prakash. 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.


The numerical study of the natural convection loss occurring from cylindrical solar cavity receivers is reported in this communication. These cavity receivers can be used with solar dish concentrators for process heat applications at medium temperature levels. Three cylindrical cavity receivers of diameter 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 m with aspect ratio equal to one and opening ratios of 1 and 0.5 are used for the analysis. Fluent CFD software is used for the analysis of the three-dimensional (3D) receiver models. In this study the receiver tubes within the cylindrical cavity are modeled as a helical coil similar to those existing in actual systems. The flow of the working fluid within the helical coil is also modeled. The simulations are performed for fluid inlet temperatures of 150°C and 250°C and for receiver inclination angles of 0 (sideways-facing cavity), 30, 45, 60, and 90 degree (vertically downward-facing receiver). It is found that the convective loss increases with increasing mean fluid temperature and decreases with, increase in receiver inclination. The convective loss is found to increase with, opening ratio. These observations are true for all cavity receivers analysed here. A Nusselt number correlation involving Rayleigh numbers, receiver inclinations, and opening ratios is proposed for the convective loss.