New Zealand is one of the world’s largest producers of dairy products and has a climate with high levels of solar radiation; however, the use of solar energy in the dairy processing industry has received limited attention. An examination of historical records found that the annual peak in New Zealand milk production and processing occurs at a time when solar radiation levels are increasing markedly. An F-Chart analysis was used to simulate the performance of large-area arrays of solar collectors and to determine their suitability for heating and cooling in a dairy processing environment. For the study four types of solar collectors were analysed: glazed flat plates, evacuated tubes, evacuated tubes with CPC reflectors and a building-integrated solar collector under development at the University of Waikato (UoW). It was found that of these echnologies, both flat plate and evacuated tubes with CPC reflectors could make useful heating and cooling contributions. Furthermore, the solar fraction was determined mainly by the collector area to storage volume ratio. Finally, it was found that the UoW building-integrated solar collector could make a significant contribution to energy use in dairies and may be an attractive future technology for the industry.
Field of Research
091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
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