Experimental analysis of solar thermal storage in a water tank with open side inlets

E. Palacios, D. M. Admiraal, J. D. Marcos, M. Izquierdo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper investigates thermal mixing caused by the inflow from one or two round, horizontal, buoyant jets in a water storage tank, which is part of a thermal solar installation. A set of experiments was carried out in a rectangular tank with a capacity of 0.3m3, with one or two constant temperature inflows. As a result, two correlations based on temperature measurements have been developed. One of the correlations predicts the size of a zone of homogenous temperature, referred to herein as the mixing zone, which develops when a single hot inflow impinges on the opposite wall of the tank. The other identifies the degree of mixing resulting from the interaction between a hot inflow and a cold inflow located below the hot one. The correlations are combined with energy balances to predict the amount of hot water available in a tank with open side inlets and the corresponding temperatures of the outflows. Outdoor measurements were also performed in a solar installation, in which a commercial water storage tank with a 1.5m3 capacity, heated by a solar collector array with a useful surface area of 42.2m2, drives a LiBr-H2O absorption chiller. Comparison of the predicted and measured outflow temperatures under a variety of weather conditions shows a maximum difference of 3°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-412
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Jets
  • Load management
  • Solar energy
  • Stratified
  • Thermal storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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