Theoretical approach of a flat-plate solar collector taking into account the absorption and emission within glass cover layer

Maatouk Khoukhi, Shigenao Maruyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


A rigorous theoretical approach of a flat-plate solar collector with a black absorber considering the glass cover as an absorbing-emitting media is presented. The glass material is analyzed as a non-gray plane-parallel medium subjected to solar and thermal irradiations in one-dimensional case using the Radiation Element Method by Ray Emission Model (REM2). The optical constants of a clear glass window proposed by Rubin have been used. These optical constants, 160 values of real part n and imaginary part k of the complex refractive index of a clear glass, cover the range of interest for calculating the solar and thermal radiative transfer through the glass cover. The computational time for predicting the thermal behavior of solar collector was found to be prohibitively long for the non-gray calculation using 160 values of n and k. Therefore a suitable semi-gray model is proposed for rapid calculation. The profile of the efficiency curve obtained in the present study was found to be not linear in shape. Indeed, the heat loss from the collector is a combination of convection and radiation and highly non linear. The effect of the outside convective heat transfer on the efficiency curve is also studied. In fact, when the convection is the dominant heat transfer mode compared with the radiation one, the profile of the efficiency curve is more or less straight line. Consequently, the heat loss coefficient could be calculated using Klein model. It has been also shown that the effect of the wind speed on the glass cover mean temperature is very important. This effect increases with the increase of the mean absorber temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-794
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Efficiency
  • Flat-plate solar collector
  • Glass cover
  • Non-gray
  • Optical constants
  • Semi-gray
  • Wind speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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