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A study of the radiative parameters for design of a solar pond Das, Aurobindo Kenneth


This research presents the development of a transmittance- absorptance parameter for a solar pond. Such a parameter represents, directly, the fraction of the incident solar radiation which is absorbed at the bottom of the solar pond. It can be used to represent pond performance through an equation analogous to the Hottel-Whillier-Bliss Equation for a flat-plate solar collector. The above parameter is called the transmittance - absorptance product and is an energy-weighted quantity. Monthly values of the proposed parameter are developed from an hour-by-hour simulation. The simulation utilizes hourly values of spectral solar radiation reaching the earth's surface which are computed from a state-of-the-art algorithm that has been slightly modified to better estimate diffuse spectral radiation at large solar zenith angles; the modification is also presented. Thermal conductive losses through the water layers and the surrounding earth together with evaporative and convective losses are usually the only loss mechanisms considered for a solar pond. Under clear skies and to a lesser extent under cloudy skies, a longwave radiation heat loss also occurs from the pond surface. The estimation of radiative loss from any terrestrial surface requires detailed computations and atmospheric data. The procedure has been greatly simplified through a correlation which yields spectral atmospheric emissivity from the amounts of absorbing gases present in the atmosphere. It is recommended for further study that the performance of a solar pond be estimated using the proposed transmittance-absorptance product to compute the solar energy absorbed in the pond, and that the longwave radiative loss from the pond be included in the analysis. A comparison with data obtained from an existing solar pond is recommended to validate the results obtained in this study.

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