The Effect of Tube Arrangement on a Flat Plate Solar Water Heater Performance

E.A. Handoyo and A. Kristianto (Indonesia)


Tube arrangement, flat plat solar collector, solar waterheater.


The function of the tube of a flat plate solar collector is to circulate the water from the tank to be heated in collector. The three possible arrangements are tube below of, tube between of and tube above of the flat absorber plate. This tube arrangement might cause different heat transfer mode and heat loss from collector. Thus, it might affect the performance of a flat plate solar water heater, i.e. the temperature difference of the water flowing at the inlet and outlet of the collector and its flow rate as well. A research is conducted to find out this effect. Three models were developed to represent the three tube arrangements. From the experiment conducted on January – February 2008 in Surabaya, Indonesia, it is found that the tubes placed below of the flat plate are suitable for a cloudy and windy surrounding, tubes placed above of the flat plate are suitable for locations that are sunny and still air, and tubes placed between of the flat plate gives the best performance, i.e. the highest temperature of water stored in the tank (means highest flow rate) and the highest temperature difference of water flowing in and out of the collector.

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