Per capita energy usage in any country is exponentially increasing with their development. As a result, the country’s dependence on the fossil fuels for energy generation is also increasing tremendously creating economic and environmental concerns. Tropical countries receive considerable amount of solar radiation throughout the year, use of solar energy with different energy storage and conversion methodologies is a viable solution to minimize the ever increasing demand for the depleting fossil fuels. Salinity gradient solar pond is one such solar energy application. This paper reports the characteristics and performance of a thermally insulated, experimental salinity-gradient solar pond, built at the premises of the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Particular stress is given to the behavior of the evolution of the three layer structure exist at the stable state of a salinity gradient solar pond over a long period of time, under different environmental conditions. The operational procedures required to maintain the long term thermal stability are also reported in this article.
In the view of current requirements of power generation and the increased interest on renewable energy sources, many options are available for generation of clean power. Solar power generation would be one of the best options in this context. The solar pond uses the principle of conversion of solar energy into heat energy, and also has the capability of storing this energy for certain period of time. The solar ponds could be best option for the regions with high solar radiation throughout the day, and also has free land availability. The paper depicts the significance of solar pond for conversion of solar energy into heat energy with a sight towards the parameters like thermal efficiency, working conditions and cost of construction. The simulation of solar pond system has been carried out for understanding the trends of the thermal efficiencies with respect to time.
A salinity gradient solar pond is a free energy source system for collecting, convertingand storing solar energy as heat. In thispaper, the principles of solar pond are explained. A mathematical model is developed to describe and simulate heat and mass transferbehaviour of salinity gradient solar pond. MATLAB codes are programmed to solve the one dimensional finite difference method for heat and mass transfer equations. Temperature profiles and concentration distributions are calculated. The numerical results are validated with experimental data and the results arefound to be in good agreement.