Performance Evaluation of Multiple Helical Tubes as a Receiver for Solar Parabolic Trough Collector

  • Swapnil N. Lotake Shivaji University
  • M. M. Wagh Shivaji University
Keywords: Multiple helical tubes, solar parabolic trough collector, receiver, solar thermal, solar energy, heat transfer


Solar parabolic trough collector consists of a parabolic reflector with a central receiver at a focal point through which heat transfer fluid is passed. Parabolic trough collector is used mostly in solar thermal power plants for generating electricity. This paper describes the experimental results of two straight tubes wrapped over each other to form a helically shaped receiver. The receiver was tested with aluminium material with and without black paint over it. Also, the helical tube receiver was tested with a glass cover over it, at two different mass flow rates and, with and without manual tracking. The tested instantaneous thermal efficiency ranges from 31.26% to 45.28% and the overall thermal efficiency ranges from 14.9% to 31.41% during the experimental period. The instantaneous thermal efficiency increased by an average of 1.32 times for unpainted receiver and 1.36 times for black painted receiver with the increase in mass flow rate. By tracking the parabolic collector according to sun’s position, there is an average increase in instantaneous thermal efficiency by 1.1 times for unpainted receiver and 1.04 times for black painted receiver. The paper further reveals that the use of multiple helical tubes as a receiver for parabolic trough collector increases the overall efficiency of the collector in a substantial manner.



Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Swapnil N. Lotake, Shivaji University

Energy Technology, Department of Technology, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, INDIA

M. M. Wagh, Shivaji University

Energy Technology, Department of Technology, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, INDIA


Cheng Z. D., He Y. L., Cui F. Q., “Numerical study of heat transfer enhancement by unilateral longitudinal vortex generators inside parabolic trough solar receivers”, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 5631–5641

Ghadirijafarbeigloo S, Zamzamian A. H., Yaghoubi M., “3-D numerical simulation of heat transfer and turbulent flow in a receiver tube of solar parabolic trough concentrator with louvered twisted-tape inserts”, Energy Procedia 49 (2014) 373 – 380

Gurav, S. R. “Parametric Comparison of Heat Transfer in Helical and Straight Tube-In-Tube Heat Exchanger”, International Journal of Science and Research 4 (2015) 990-993

Hoste G. and Schuknecht N., “Thermal efficiency analysis of SkyFuel’s advanced, large-aperture, parabolic trough collector”, Energy Procedia 69 (2015) 96 – 105

Huang, Z., Yu, G. L., Li, Z. Y., Tao, W. Q. “Numerical study on heat transfer enhancement in a receiver tube of parabolic trough solar collector with dimples, protrusions and helical fins”, Energy Procedia 69 (2015) 1306 – 1316

Islam M, Karim A, Saha SC, Miller S and Yarlagadda PKDV, “Three dimensional simulation of a parabolic trough concentrator thermal collector”, Proceedings of the 50th Annual Conference, Australian Solar Energy Society (Australian Solar Council), Melbourne (2012)

Jayakumara J. S., Mahajani S. M., Mandala J. C., Vijayan P. K., Bhoi R, “Experimental and CFD estimation of heat transfer in helically coiled heat exchangers”, Chemical Engineering Research and Design 86 (2011) 221-232

Kajavali A., Sivaraman B. and Kulasekharan N., “Investigation of Heat Transfer Enhancement in a Parabolic Trough Collector with a Modified Absorber”, International Energy Journal 14 (2014) 177-188

Muñoz J and Abánades A, “Analysis of internal helically finned tubes for parabolic trough design by CFD tools”, Applied Energy 88 (2011)

Naveenraj G., Kannan M., Rajendran D., “Heat Transfer Analysis of Porous Disc Receiver for Solar Parabolic Trough Collector”, Proceedings of the National Conference on Emerging Trends in Mechanical Engineering 2k13 (2013)

Ranjbar SF, Seyyedvalilu MH, “The effect of geometrical parameters on heat transfer coefficient in helical double tube exchangers”, Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer Research 1 (2014) 75-82

Zhu H, Wang H, Kou G, “Experimental study on the heat transfer enhancement by Dean Vortices in spiral tubes”, International Journal of Energy and Environment 5 (2014) 317-326

-- 0 --