Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy
School of Engineering
Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions
In this review, flat plate and concentrate-type solar collectors, integrated collector–storage systems, and solar water heaters combined with photovoltaic–thermal modules, solar-assisted heat pump solar water heaters, and solar water heaters using phase change materials are studied based on their thermal performance, cost, energy, and exergy efficiencies. The maximum water temperature and thermal efficiencies are enlisted to evaluate the thermal performance of the different solar water heaters. It is found that the solar water heaters’ performance is considerably improved by boosting water flow rate and tilt angle, modification of the shape and number of collectors, using wavy diffuse and electrodepositioned reflector coating, application of the corrugated absorber surface and coated absorber, use of turbulent enhancers, using thermal conductive working fluid and nanofluid, the inclusion of the water storage tank, and tank insulation. These items increase the heat transfer area and coefficient, thermal conductivity, the Reynolds and Nusselt numbers, heat transfer rate, and energy and exergy efficiencies. The evacuated tube heaters have a higher temperature compared to the collectors with a plane surface. Their thermal performance increases by using all-glass active circulation and heat pipe integration. The concentrative type of solar water heaters is superior to other solar heaters, particularly in achieving higher water temperatures. Their performance improves by using a rotating mirror concentrator. The integration of the system with energy storage components, phase change materials, or a heat pump provides a satisfactory performance over conventional solar water heaters.
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