Computational investigation of solar updraft tower for power generation in sultanate of Oman

Husain, Afzal ; Zunaid, Mohammad ; Brashdi, Mohammed AL; Maqbali, Fahad Al; Al-Jabri, Emad ; Al-Mahrizi, Abdulmonem


The current study is aimed at harnessing solar power through solar updraft tower (SUT) and explored the local environmental factors conducive to SUT installation. The SUT collects solar insolation to raise the air velocity, which is then allowed to pass through a ducted turbine. An alternator is installed with the air turbine to generate electricity. The study presents a performance analysis of SUT based on local thermal radiation and wind velocity. Three-dimensional numerical modelling of SUT is carried using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver. The model is validated with the experimental results available in the open literature. The collector temperature profile obtained through CFD modelling matches well with the experimental results. A maximum temperature rise of 20 ºC was ob-served in the collector modelled and solved numerically using CFD solver. The air velocity increases as the flow move from the collector periphery to the center of the SUT and reach to its maximum just before the center of the SUT. However, for the chimney, the temperature was observed to be increased continuously due to its continuous heating through the chimney walls, which receives solar radiation. The performance of SUT is examined with the change in inlet air velocity based on the local conditions in the Sultanate of Oman.


Solar updraft tower, Computational fluid dynamics, Renewable energy, Solar collector, Solar chimney,
Pressure drop, Power generation

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