The use of shallow solar ponds (convecting solar ponds) for the conversion of solar energy into low grade thermal energy has been a subject of intensive investigation in recent years. At the Institute for Desert Research at the Sede Boqer Campus we have been testing this concept with emphasis placed upon the utilization of locally manufactured components. The daily performance of four small module shallow solar ponds has been monitored almost continuously between August 1978 and May 1979. The ponds are each 2 × 1.3 m in size. They all have the same black PVC lower film, but differ either in the type of upper transparent film, glazing material or glazing angle. The daily performance is characterized by three factors, viz. the maximum daily water temperature achieved, the total daily thermal energy collected and the daily efficiency. Monthly average performance factors for the SSP modules have been determined. Based upon the experimental data, we conclude that the SSP system is capable of supplying ~ 3 GJ/m2-yr of thermal energy under climatic conditions similar to those prevailing at Sede Boqer, i.e. semi-arid zones. The economic feasibility of such a system has been analyzed in comparison with the following alternate energy sources: oil (heavy fraction), natural gas and electricity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Building and Construction
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering