Two finite element computer programs for use in simulating the performance of salt gradient solar ponds have been verified by comparing data from the simulation models with operational data from the 3355 square meter El Paso solar pond facility in El Paso, Texas. The two programs SOLPOND, developed at the Solar Energy Research Institute and GTPROFILE, developed at U.T. El Paso, model pond performance using only conduction heat transfer and radiation absorption in the pond elemental nodes. After verification, the GTPROFILE simulation has been used to investigate the effects on pnod performance that result when gradient (nonconvective zone) thickness is increased at the expense of storage zone (lower convective zone) thickness in an operational salt gradient solar pond of fixed depth. In the study, the upper convective zone of the pond is held fixed at 0.50 meters (approximately the average annual upper convective zone depth experienced at the El Paso solar pond), while the thickness of the gradient and storage zone are varied such that the total depth of the two layers remains constant at 2.55 meters. The study investigated monthly and annual performance for a 55 to 65 degree C temperature difference between the storage zone and upper convective zone and showed significant increases in energy delivery, especially in the winter months, as gradient thickness increased.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 1989|
|Event||Solar Engineering 1989 - Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual ASME Solar Energy Conference - San Diego, CA, USA|
Duration: Apr 2 1989 → Apr 5 1989
|Conference||Solar Engineering 1989 - Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual ASME Solar Energy Conference|
|City||San Diego, CA, USA|
|Period||04/2/89 → 04/5/89|