Objective: Thermal efficiency of a flat plate solar collector incorporated with
nanocomposite PCM-TES was experimentally studied in the present work. The augmentation
of the PCM-TES, with nanocomposite, was examined to determine the ability of
the collector to function after sunset, and over the night.
Method: Outdoor experimental measurement involved three different operational modes;
namely, measurement without TES, measurement with PCM-TES incorporated and
measurement with nanocomposite-TES integration. Furthermore, the system performance
in terms of extension of the period for hot water production at night time was determined.
Conclusion: The experimental results revealed that the thermal efficiency was improved
from 47.5% of without TES mode to 52.2% with PCM-TES mode. The nanocomposite-
TES mode demonstrated increased thermal efficiency up to 57.5%. The other indication
of performance enhancement was the extended period of hot water production beyond
day time operation. At 7.00AM the next day, the water temperature measurement with
PCM-TES case was 39.5 °C and while with nanocomposite-TES case the water temperature
measurement was 43.5 °C. The mode of PCM-TES integration extended the hot water
production at night time by approximately 5 hours while with nanocomposite-TES
mode; the hot water production period was further extended by approximately 7.0 hours.