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Development of Control Circuit for Parabolic Dish Solar Water Heater

Author(s): Ibrahim Ladan Mohammed | Paul N. Bartholomew

Journal: International Journal of Advances in Engineering and Technology
ISSN 2231-1963

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 16;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Development | control-circuit | parabolic-dish | solar | water-heater | light-dependent resistor (LDR)

This research work focuses on the development of an electronic control circuit for the tracking mechanism of a solar water heater, and assessing the effectiveness of this control circuit by assessing the thermal performance of the heater. A 10-litre capacity parabolic dish solar water heater was designed and constructed for use in Kaduna. The heater was designed to heat water from ambient temperature up to 100 oC. For effective performance the heater had to track the sun, and an electronic control circuit using two light-dependent resistors was designed and developed for this purpose. The control circuit uses two modes of control, manual mode and automatic mode. Both modes of control use a Superjack, a widely used tracking device in the satellite dish industry. The manual mode uses two switches to track the sun at intervals of time and requires the physical presence of an operator to carry out the operation. Analysis of series of experimental results using the plant indicates that the overall thermal performance of the system under automatic mode is superior to the performance under the manual mode. Improved thermal efficiency of more than 2% and time reduction of about 4% were achieved with the automatic mode of control over the manual mode. These two advantages, together with another advantage that it does not require the physical presence of an operator to track the sun, make the automatic mode have more economic potentials than the manual mode.
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