Effect of Glass Thickness on Performance of Flat Plate Solar Collectors for Fruits Drying
Njau, Karoli N.
MetadataShow full item record
This study aimed at investigating the effect of thickness of glazing material on the performance of flat plate solar collectors. Performance of solar collector is affected by glaze transmittance, absorptance, and reflectance which results into major heat losses in the system. Four solar collector models with different glass thicknesses were designed, constructed, and experimentally tested for their performances. Collectors were both oriented to northsouth direction and tilted to an angle of 10° with the ground toward north direction. The area of each collector model was 0.72 m2 with a depth of 0.15 m. Low iron (extra clear) glass of thicknesses 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, and 6 mm was used as glazing materials. As a control, all collector performances were analysed and compared using a glass of 5 mm thickness and then with glass of different thickness. The results showed that change in glass thickness results into variation in collector efficiency. Collector with 4 mm glass thick gave the best efficiency of 35.4% compared to 27.8% for 6 mm glass thick. However, the use of glass of 4 mm thick needs precautions in handling and during placement to the collector to avoid extra costs due to breakage.