The purpose of this study is to investigate the
efficiency of a double-layer roof in collecting solar energy as an
application to the areas such as raising high-end temperature of
organic Rankine cycle (ORC). The by-product of the solar roof is to
reduce building air-conditioning loads. The experimental apparatus
are arranged to evaluate the effects of the solar roof in absorbing solar
energy. The flow channel is basically formed by an aluminum plate on
top of a plywood plate. The geometric configurations in which the
effects of absorbing energy is analyzed include: a bare uncovered
aluminum plate, a glass-covered aluminum plate, a
glass-covered/black-painted aluminum plate, a plate with variable
lengths, a flow channel with stuffed material (in an attempt on
enhancement of heat conduction), and a flow channel with variable
slanted angles. The experimental results show that the efficiency of
energy collection varies from 0.6 % to 11 % for the geometric
configurations mentioned above. An additional study is carried out
using CFD simulation to investigate the effects of fins on the
aluminum plate. It shows that due to vastly enhanced heat conduction,
the efficiency can reach ~23 % if 50 fins are installed on the aluminum
plate. The study shows that a double-layer roof can efficiently absorb
solar energy and substantially reduce building air-conditioning
loads. On the high end of an organic Rankine cycle, a solar pond is
used to replace the warm surface water of the sea as OTEC (ocean
thermal energy conversion) is the driving energy for the ORC. The
energy collected from the double-layered solar roof can be pumped
into the pond and raise the pond temperature as the pond surface area is
equivalently increased by nearly one-fourth of the total area of the
double-layer solar roof. The effect of raising solar pond temperature is
especially prominent if the double-layer solar roofs are installed in a
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