Numerical Investigation of Wind Flow around a Cylindrical Trough Solar Collector

Read  full  paper  at:


The goal of this study is to model the effects of wind on Cylindrical Trough Collectors (CTCs). Two major areas are discussed in this paper: 1) heat losses due to wind flow over receiver pipe and 2) average forces applied on the collector’s body. To accomplish these goals a 2D modeling of CTC was carried out using commercial codes with various wind velocities and collector orientations. Ambient temperature was assumed to be constant at 300 K and for specific geometries different meshing methods and boundary conditions were used in various runs. Validation was done by comparing the simulation results for a horizontal collector with empirical data. It was observed that maximum force of 509.1 Newton per Meter occurs at +60 degrees. Nusselt number is almost the constant for positive angles while at negative angles it varies considerably with the collector’s orientation.

Cite this paper

Shojaee, S. , Moradian, M. and Mashhoodi, M. (2015) Numerical Investigation of Wind Flow around a Cylindrical Trough Solar Collector. Journal of Power and Energy Engineering, 3, 1-10. doi: 10.4236/jpee.2015.31001.


[1] Mostofi, M., Nosrat, A.H. and Pearce, J.M. (2011) Institutional Scale Operational Symbiosis of Photovoltaic and Cogeneration Systems. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 8, 31-44.
[2] Goswami, D.Y., Kreith, F. and Kreider, J.F. (1999) Principles of Solar Engineering. 2nd Edition, Taylors & Francis Co., Philadelphia.
[3] Delyannis, A. (1967) Solar Stills Provide Island Inhabitants with Water. Sun at Work, 10, 6-8.
[4] Meinel, A.B. and Meinel, M.P. (1976) Applied Solar Energy. An Introduction. Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., Michigan.
[5] Kalogirou, S. (2004) Solar Thermal Collectors and Applications. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 30, 231295.
[6] Stine, W.B. (1987) Power from the Sun: Principles of High Temperature Solar Thermal Technology. Solar Energy Research Institute, Colorado.
[7] Mekhilef, S., Saidur, R. and Safari, A. (2011) A Review on Solar Energy Use in Industries. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 15, 1777-1790.
[8] Kalogirou, S. (2009) Solar Energy Engineering: Processes and Systems. Elsevier Inc., London.
[9] Chung, K.M., Chang, K.C. and Chou, C.C. (2011) Wind Loads on Residential and Large-Scale Solar Collector Models. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 99, 59-64.
[10] Kumar, S. and Mullick, S.C. (2010) Wind Heat Transfer Coefficient in Solar Collectors in Outdoor Conditions. Solar Energy, 84, 956-963.
[11] Stojanovic, B., Hallberg, D. and Akander, J. (2010) A Steady State Thermal Duct Model Derived by Fin-Theory Approach and Applied on an Unglazed Solar Collector. Solar Energy, 84, 1838-1851.
[12] Turgut, O. and Onur, N. (2009) Three Dimensional Numerical and Experimental Study of Forced Convection Heat Transfer on Solar Collector Surface. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 36, 274-279.
[13] Cheng, Z.D., He, Y.L., Xiao, J., Tao, Y.B. and Xu, R.J. (2010) Three-Dimensional Numerical Study of Heat Transfer Characteristics in the Receiver Tube of Parabolic Trough Solar Collector. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 37, 782-787.
[14] Naeeni, N. and Yaghoubi, M. (2006) Analysis of Wind Flow around a Parabolic Collector (1) Fluid Flow. Renewable Energy, 32, 1898-1916.
[15] Naeeni, N. and Yaghoubi, M. (2006) Analysis of Wind Flow around a Parabolic Collector (2) Heat Transfer from Receiver Tube. Renewable Energy, 32, 1259-1272.
[16] Yakhot, V. and Orszag, S.A. (1986) Renormalized Group Analysis of Turbulence: I. Basic Theory. Journal of Scientific Computing, 1, 3-51.
[17] Cengel, Y.A. (2002) Heat Transfer: A Practical Approach. 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill, New York.
[18] Scott, J. (2005) Drag of Cylinders & Cones.                                eww150113lx