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In this work, the use of phase change material (PCM) in the circular tank solar receiver is proposed for a 16 m2 Scheffler parabolic dish solar concentrator to improve the heat transfer in the receiver. Magnesium chloride hexahydrate with melting temperature of 117°C is selected as the phase change material in the annular space of the receiver with rectangular fins inside the PCM. Experimental work is carried out to analyze heat transfer from the receiver to heat transfer fluid with and without PCM in the inner periphery. Energy and exergy efficiency are determined from the measurements of solar radiation intensity, receiver temperature, surroundings temperature, heat transfer fluid inlet and outlet temperatures, storage tank temperature and wind speed. The experiments were conducted in SRM University, Chennai, India (Latitude: 13° 5′ N, Longitude: 80°16′ E) in April 2014. Use of PCM in receiver periphery increased energy efficiency by 5.62%, exergy efficiency by 12.8% and decreased time to reach the boiling point of water by 20% when compared with the receiver without PCM.
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