Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering




Two investigations for improving renewable technologies are engaged. First is the examination of the enhancement of heat transfer at the rear of a hot photovoltaic panel by natural convection using various configurations and the other is analyzing a new photocatalytic collector for water heating and cleaning. A 20 Watt polycrystalline panel is exposed to indoor simulated solar light, under constant ambient temperature and stagnant wind conditions. Three configurations are considered: a partial heat sink, a water cavity and a water channel. The experimentally obtained convective heat transfer coefficients are 4.4 W•m-2•K-1 at the rear of the bare panel, 1.1 W•m-2•K-1 with the heat sink, 26.6 W•m-2•K-1 with the water cavity and 177 W•m-2•K-1 with the water channel. The channel is attached to a cold reservoir and thermosyphoning is forcing flow through it. This is an efficient method for cooling. In the second part of this study, an integrated solar photocatalytic collector is fabricated and tested. Methylene blue dye and photo-activated catalyst were mixed with the testing fluid. The results show that the system was able to disinfect 1.2 ppm of the dye in water by 80% in the presence of 127 mg•L-1 of AEROXIDE® TiO2 P90 with the thermal efficiency of ηth = 0.67 under the laboratory conditions. It was analyzed under stagnant wind conditions and the heat losses were assessed.