Table of Contents
Journal of Thermodynamics
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1604782, 7 pages
Research Article

Enhancement of Integrated Solar Collector with Spherical Capsules PCM Affected by Additive Aluminum Powder

Solar Energy Research Institute, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia UKM, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 18 September 2015; Revised 24 December 2015; Accepted 27 December 2015

Academic Editor: Angelo Lucia

Copyright © 2016 Fatah O. Al Ghuol et al. 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.


This research aims to study, analyze, design, and construct a solar air heater combined with an appropriate phase-change material (PCM) unit. This solar air heater is analogous to a collector integrating a thermal storage unit and a solar thermal collector. In this study, such single-pass solar air heater in amalgamation with PCM was constructed, and several tests were conducted on this device. During the experiments for the solar collector with PCM (spherical capsules), the temperature varied between 30°C and 35°C, and the air mass flow rate ranged between 0.03 and 0.09 kg/s. Results confirmed the predicted experimental findings. With the use of paraffin wax-aluminum composite, the thermal storage efficiency of the constructed solar air heater reached a maximum value of 71% at 0.05 kg/s mass flow rate, its charging time decreased by almost 70%, and its cooling rate increased. The thermal storage efficiency of the compound composite was 76.8% at 0.07 kg/s mass flow rate. The results also indicated that the time of charging decreased by almost 60% with the use of paraffin wax-aluminum composite.