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Development of 'low-tech' solar thermal water pumps for use in developing countries.

Orda, E. P. and Mahkamov, K. (2004) 'Development of 'low-tech' solar thermal water pumps for use in developing countries.', Journal of solar energy engineering : transactions of the ASME., 126 (2). pp. 768-773.


Solar water pumps, based on electro-mechanical pumps powered by PV arrays, are commonly used and commercially available. However, one of the difficulties for their wider application in developing countries, where there is a high average insolation, is their relatively excessive cost. This arises mainly due to the high cost of the PV elements. Hence, this paper describes some developmental work and results of experimental tests on "low-tech" solar thermal water pumps which were built on the basis of Stirling engines with fluid pistons coupled to flat-plate solar collectors. Temperatures and pressures in the cycle are comparatively low, thus cheap design materials, such as glass and plastic, and a simple technology, available in the majority of mechanical workshops, can be used for their manufacture and consequently reduce their cost. Several design modifications of the above solar thermal water pumps have been developed and tested. The results obtained demonstrate that existing installations can be effectively applied for water pumping with a dynamic head which varies between 2-5 m. Furthermore, data from experimental tests shows that the pulsating motion of water in channels of the flat-plate solar collectors increases the collector's efficiency by approximately 8-10%, which is a considerable advantage when a pump is used as part of a house solar heating system.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Pumps, Solar absorber-convertors, Water supply, Stirling engines, Pulsatile flow, Channel flow.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:23 Apr 2008
Last Modified:09 Feb 2011 16:38

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