Investigation of Thermodynamic Performance of Salt Gradient Solar Ponds

Document Type : Original Article


School of Mechanical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Solar pond is an artificially constructed pool by which the solar energy is collected and stored in a cost-benefit approach compared to conventional solar energy collection methods. Salt gradient solar pond, capable of providing a considerable quantity of hot water, has received wide currency in both research and industrial fields. Heat absorbed in the salt gradient solar pond can be extracted in different ways for various thermal applications, ranging from domestic to industrial uses. Thermal efficiency as a key criterion for evaluation of the performance of the pond, is directly influenced by the method applied to extraction of the heat. Investigation of the performance of a solar pond requires a comprehensive thermodynamic study through energy and exergy analyses based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Such observations have been aimed at achieving higher efficiency and effectiveness of the system. The present article presents thermodynamic analysis for performance investigation of salt gradient solar ponds in all three zones including theoretical and experimental results.