Balancing heat transfer fluid flow in solar fields

Mohammad Abutayeh, Anas Alazzam, Bashar El-Khasawneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Proper distribution of heat transfer fluid in solar fields remains an issue for the concentrated solar power industry. Balancing fluid flow in solar fields is very challenging due to their complex piping networks. It is further exacerbated by the instantaneously and spatially varying solar radiation necessitating continuous flow adjustments to control heat transfer fluid temperature. Poorly balanced solar fields entail over and under heating of a fairly costly heat transfer fluid; thus, shortening its life span and the life span of equipment handling it due to frequent thermal shocks. Proper distribution of heat transfer fluid will eventually minimize equipment malfunction, maximize solar power generation, and improve operational safety. A flow control strategy aimed at properly distributing heat transfer fluid in solar fields has been developed along with a model for the proposed strategy. The strategy consists of manipulating solar field valve positions to control flow distribution and modulating pump speed to control flow rate in response to a continually varying solar radiation in order to attain a set temperature for heat transfer fluid exiting the solar field.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)381-389
Number of pages9
JournalSolar Energy
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Concentrated solar power
  • Heat transfer fluid
  • Parabolic trough collector
  • Solar field


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