A novel approach for volumetric solar receiver performance assessments

M. Faizan, A. Almerbati*, B. S. Yilbas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A novel design and an efficient operation of solar volumetric receivers remain critical for successfully integrating such receivers into solar energy harvesting devices. The performance of the solar volumetric receiver is highly dependent on the geometric connectivity of the actual pore-sites in the SiC open-cell foams. Although the performance of SiC foam receivers has been investigated previously considering the homogeneous foam structure, further studies are needed to explore the influence of the actual path of the pores and their connectivity on the flow and thermal performance of the receiver. Hence, the present study considers the novel design of a solar volumetric absorber incorporating the actual SiC foam receiver geometric features. Accordingly, the thermal and flow behavior of the working fluid within the receiver is examined considering the 3D connectivity of the pore sites. Moreover, the performance of the solar volumetric receiver is evaluated for different Reynolds numbers, solar concentrations, and foam porosities. A 3D-dimensional numerical investigation is carried out incorporating the interactions between convection, conduction, and radiation heat transfer for which the discrete ordinate radiation model is used. Porous SiC foam is placed in a channel having an optically transparent wall at the top and air is used as the working fluid extracting heat from foam. The overall heat transfer coefficient, normalized Nusselt number, and thermal effectiveness are evaluated for various operating conditions. Findings revealed that the receiver thermal performance improves at high Reynolds numbers. The convection heat transfer is found to be the apparent heat transfer mode within the porous SiC foam. In addition, the pumping power to overcome the flow resistance in the channel is considerably less than that of the rate of heat transfer gain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118487
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
StatePublished - 5 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Discrete ordinate radiation model
  • Heat transfer performance
  • Nusselt number
  • Porous SiC foam
  • Solar volumetric receiver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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