Ecosense installed a Solar Thermal Lab at the University of Sharjah, UAE

The University of Sharjah is renowned as one of the most sought-after institutions in Sharjah, UAE. Demonstrating a strong commitment to Renewable Energy research, the university has invested in a Solar Thermal (FPC) Training system and a Solar Concentrator (Parabolic Trough) Training system. These acquisitions were facilitated through Edutech Middle East in partnership with Ecosense for product supply.

Ecosense's Solar Thermal Labs provide a comprehensive platform for end-to-end learning and training in the Solar Thermal field. The Solar Thermal Lab comprises four distinct products that cover the entire spectrum of concepts related to Solar Thermal technology, usage, and installation, further enriching the educational experience for students.

The University of Sharjah
The University of Sharjah

Solar Thermal Training System

Solar Thermal Training System is a small model of real-time water heating system and can be used for the characterization and different heat transfer analysis. Different aspects like efficiency, overall heat loss coefficient, and heat removal factor and their corresponding calculations can be demonstrated with the help of this system. The special feature of this system is to perform experiments with different wind speeds, different fluid temperatures, and different flow speeds. This system can be divided in three parts viz. main collector system, measuring unit and artificial light unit.

Main Collector system consists of a Flat Plate collector with temperature, flow and pressure sensors to measure temperature, flow and pressure of fluid. Measuring unit consists of a measurement panel displaying different parameters and Artificial light unit/ heat generating unit is a Halogen lamp panel to uniformly illuminate the flat plate collector inside a Lab. Artificial Light facilitates a user to do his/her work without depending on climatic changes in the environment.

Modular and scalable design of the system allows user to move the system in and out of lab easily and conduct experiment with artificial lights as well as actual sunlight. Using the system, a user will be able to study and understand working and operation of a flat plate collector water heating system and its two modes of operation.

Ecosense Engineer Demonstrating Solar Thermal Training System
Ecosense Engineer Demonstrating Solar Thermal Training System

Experiments that students can perform using the Solar Thermal Training System

In the thermosyphonic mode experiments, the aim is to assess the performance of flat plate solar collectors under different natural flow conditions. This involves studying parameters such as UL (utilization factor), FR (flow rate), and η (efficiency) across varying radiation levels, inlet water temperatures, wind speeds, and tilt angles. These experiments provide insights into how the collectors respond to environmental factors and how their efficiency varies under different thermosyphonic conditions.

On the other hand, the forced mode experiments focus on the collector's behavior under controlled flow conditions. By examining UL, FR, and η under fixed input parameters, diverse flow rates, radiation levels, inlet water temperatures, wind speeds, and incident angles, these experiments shed light on the collector's adaptability to forced flow scenarios. Understanding the collector's performance under both natural and controlled flow conditions is crucial for optimizing its efficiency across a range of practical applications.

Solar Concentrator Training System

The Solar Concentrator Training System is a compact and miniaturized version of Solar parabolic trough collector-based water heating system. The system consists of parabolic reflectors, absorber tube, sun tracker, piping, storage tanks and a heat exchanger. A control panel would control different devices and also measure the different parameters of the system. The system can be used to perform experiments on heat transfer, parabolic trough characteristics and heat loss at different parts of the system. The system is highly flexible – it can be used with different working fluids, different absorbing materials, different piping insulation thickness and different types of storage tanks. This gives a lot of scope for research in heat transfer and related fields. Wind speed variation and flow velocity are other parameters which can be changed to show their impact on heat transfer and heat loss.

The system can be broadly divided into three parts a) Heat generating unit with tracking system, b) Storage unit and c) control unit. Heat generating unit consists of a parabolic reflector focusing sunlight on absorber tubes. Storage unit consists of two supply tanks one with heat exchanger and other without heat exchanger and control unit consists of measurement panel and sensors.

The system enables user to study and learn about Solar thermal technologies in easy and interactive manner. It educates the user about basics on solar thermal Solar Parabolic Trough Collector technology, basic terminologies used for solar thermal technology like temperature, pressure, flow measurement install collector/receiver mounting structures on the foundations etc.

Ecosense Engineer Demonstrating Solar Concentrator Training System
Ecosense Engineer Demonstrating Solar Concentrator Training System

Experiments that students can perform using the Solar Concentrator Training System

Performance Factors Analysis: Students can determine various performance factors such as heat loss coefficient (UL), heat removal factor (FR), and overall efficiency (η) of the parabolic trough collector. They can investigate how these factors change under different conditions, such as varying solar insulation, flow rates, insulation thickness, inlet fluid temperatures, wind speeds, and ambient temperatures.

Optimization Studies: Students can find the optimum flow rate of the fluid for minimizing heat losses or maximizing heat gain under different insulation thicknesses. This type of study helps them understand the practical considerations for optimizing system performance.

Certificate of Appreciation
Certificate of Appreciation

Demonstration and Training of Equipments Conducted

Ecosense also conducted a demonstration of equipment for training Professors and Scholars. This training program was focused on educating and training the professors, scholars, and technicians in Solar Parabolic Trough Collector Technology who will further train thousands of students and professionals to start their career or business in this very field.

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