Performance evaluation of a nanofluid-based direct absorption solar collector with parabolic trough concentrator

Guoying Xu, Wei Chen, Shiming Deng, Xiaosong Zhang, Sainan Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Application of solar collectors for hot water supply, space heating, and cooling plays a significant role in reducing building energy consumption. For conventional solar collectors, solar radiation is absorbed by spectral selective coating on the collectors’ tube/plate wall. The poor durability of the coating can lead to an increased manufacturing cost and unreliability for a solar collector operated at a higher temperature. Therefore, a novel nanofluid-based direct absorption solar collector (NDASC) employing uncoated collector tubes has been proposed, and its operating characteristics for medium-temperature solar collection were theoretically and experimentally studied in this paper. CuO/oil nanofluid was prepared and used as working fluid of the NDASC. The heat-transfer mechanism of the NDASC with parabolic trough concentrator was theoretically evaluated and compared with a conventional indirect absorption solar collector (IASC). The theoretical analysis results suggested that the fluid’s temperature distribution in the NDASC was much more uniform than that in the IASC, and an enhanced collection efficiency could be achieved for the NDASC operated within a preferred working temperature range. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed NDASC, experimental performances of an NDASC and an IASC with the same parabolic trough concentrator were furthermore evaluated and comparatively discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2131-2147
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2015


  • Collection efficiency
  • Nanofluid
  • Solar collector
  • Temperature distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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