Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Residential building solar thermal analysis: A case study on Sophia Gordon Hall
by Trethewey, Ross M., M.S., Tufts University, 2009, 106; 1474462
Abstract (Summary)

Solar thermal technologies, such as residential hot water heating and space conditioning, have potential for reducing green house gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption. The most common implementation is a solar assisted domestic hot water (SDHW) system. Sophia Gordon Hall located at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts is equipped with a drain back SDHW system which is supplemented by natural gas fired water heaters. Operational experience has indicated that the system could be improved. The purpose of this research is to develop a performance model for the SDHW systems in its as built state and use that model to conduct a parametric study of potential configuration variations. The industry standard software tool T*SOL is used for the analysis. Performance was characterized in terms of solar fraction, investment payback and the annual solar energy output. The results show that solar collector efficiency is the critical factor. While modifications to storage capacity, water flow rate and the collector angles yielded a normalized solar fraction increase of 0.4-2.6%, adjustments to the collector efficiency and collector array size yielded a normalized solar fraction increase of 15.6-37.5%. This suggests that the installation of more solar collectors and/or the replacement of the existing collectors would significantly improve system performance. Preliminary economic analysis results are encouraging with breakeven payback periods of 7-14 years, but more detailed economic and installation feasibility studies are needed before final decisions can be made.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Manno, Vincent P.
Commitee: Hammond Creighton, Sarah, Hodes, Marc
School: Tufts University
Department: Mechanical Engineering
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: MAI 48/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Climate Change, Mechanical engineering
Keywords: Renewable energy, Solar fraction, Solar preheat domestic water, Solar system optimization, Solar thermal
Publication Number: 1474462
ISBN: 9781109646955
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