A new, bi-directional thermodiode designed for energy-efficient buildings was constructed and tested. Experimental results are presented and discussed for solar-heating applications. The thermodiode system consisted of a number of rectangular loops filled with water. The tilting angle of the loops can be altered to reverse the direction of natural convection within the loops for bi-directional operations. The horizontal segments of the loops were attached to metallic panels facing indoors or outdoors. The amount of thermal radiation incident on the outdoor-facing surfaces can be adjusted by rotating the panels or by installing a removable shading device in front of the surfaces. Results of the indoor tests for winter use of the diode showed an onset time between 7 to 20 min for natural convection to be induced throughout the loops in the thermodiode. Before the throughflow started, the fluid in the heated copper tubes reached its maximum temperature. A sudden drop and rebound in this temperature was observed immediately after the onset of throughflow. After that, temperatures at different locations on the thermodiode rose at approximately the same rate until a steady state was reached. During the cool-down phase, the temperatures decreased at the same rate without humps, indicating only conduction took place in the rectangular loops when the thermodiode was reverse-biased. A simple analytical model was developed to estimate the temperature variations and heat transfer rates in the diode system. The diode under forward-biased condition increases the heat transfer rate by nearly 100 times for an incident radiation of 600 W/m2.
Performance Study of a Bi-Directional Thermodiode Designed for Energy-Efficient Buildings
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division, April 2000; final revision, May 2002. Associate Editor: D. Claridge.
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Chun, W., Chen, K., and Kim, H. T. (August 1, 2002). "Performance Study of a Bi-Directional Thermodiode Designed for Energy-Efficient Buildings ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. August 2002; 124(3): 291–299. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1498849
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