A water-cooled, cavity calorimeter was designed to accurately measure concentrated solar thermal power produced by the University of Minnesota's solar simulator. The cavity is comprised of copper tubing bent into spiral and helical coils for the base and cylindrical walls, respectively. Insulation surrounds the cavity to reduce heat transfer to the ambient, and a water- cooled aperture cover is positioned at the open end of the cavity. The calorimeter measures the heat gain of water flowing through the system as radiant energy is passed through the aperture. Chilled water flows through the tubing, and the energy incident on the cavity surface is conducted through the wall and convected to the flowing water. The energy increase in the water can be observed by an increase in fluid temperature. A Monte Carlo ray tracing method is used to predict the incident flux distribution and corresponding power on the surfaces of the cavity. These values are used to estimate the thermal losses of the system, and it is found that they account for less that 1% of the total power passed through the aperture. The overall uncertainty of the calorimeter is found by summing the measured uncertainty and the estimated heat loss and is found to be ±2.5% for 9.2 kW of power output and ±3.4% for 3 kW.
University of Minnesota M.S. April 2013. Major: Mechanical Engineering. Advisor: Dr. Jane H. Davidson. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 61 pages, appendices A-D.
Sefkow, Elizabeth Anne Bennett.
The design of a calorimeter to measure concentrated solar flux.
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