Thermal Analysis of Flat Evacuated Glass Enclosure for Building Integrated Solar Applications

Farid Arya, Trevor Hyde, Paul Henshall, Phillip Eames, Roger Moss, Stan Shire, Aggelos Zacharopoulos

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In this work a flat evacuated glass enclosure is designed and fabricated and its thermal performance characterized for solar thermal applications. To investigate the effect of the thermal insulation provided by the high vacuum pressure in the enclosure, the heat transmission of the enclosure is determined under both atmospheric and vacuum pressures. The flat evacuated enclosure consists of two glass panes hermetically sealed around their periphery to a stainless steel spacer creating a cavity between the glass panes 15mm wide. An array of stainless steel support spacers are set between the glass panes to prevent the panes from collapsing under the influence of atmospheric pressure.A simple solar absorber is integrated into the enclosure and a novel co-centric port is designed for thermal fluid transfer through the edge spacer to the absorber. The assembly is tested under a solar simulator, and using infrared thermography techniques and thermocouples attached to the enclosure its thermal response is analysed. Results show that the greatest heat loss occurs near the support spacers on the glass surface, and near the inlet and outlet ports at the edge spacer. Key words: Evacuated Glass Enclosure, Vacuum Insulation, Evacuated Co-centric tube, Solar thermal, Solar simulator, Infrared Thermography , Trevor Hyde1, Paul Henshall2, Phillip Eames2, Roger Moss3, Stan Shire3, Aggelos Zacharopoulos1
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherWorld Economic Forum
Number of pages1557
ISBN (Print)978-3-98120538-1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Sep 2015
Event10th Conference on Advanced Building Skins 3-4 November 2015, Bern, Switzerland - Bern, Switzerland
Duration: 15 Sep 2015 → …


Conference10th Conference on Advanced Building Skins 3-4 November 2015, Bern, Switzerland
Period15/09/15 → …

Bibliographical note

Reference text: [1] C. Eaton and H. Blum., “The Use of Moderate Vacuum Environments as a Means of Increasing the Collection Efficiencies and Operating Temperatures of Flat-Plate Solar Collectors”. Solar Energy, 1975, 17,151-158.
[2] N. Benz and T. Beikircher., “High Efficiency Evacuated Flat-Plate Solar Collector for Process Steam Production”, Solar Energy. 1999, 65, 111-118.
[3] P. Henshall, R. Moss, F. Arya, P. Eames, S. Shire and T. Hyde., “An Evacuated Enclosure Design for Solar Thermal Energy Applications”, In: Proceeding of Grand Renewable Energy 2014, July, Tokyo, Japan.
[4] F. Arya, T. Hyde, P. Henshall, P. Eames, R. Moss and S. Shire., “Fabrication and Characterisation of Slim Flat Vacuum Panels Suitable for Solar Applications”, In Proceedings of EuroSun 2014, September, Aix-les-Bains, France.
[5] T. Hyde, P.W. Griffiths, P.C. Eames and B. Norton., “Development of a novel low temperature edge seal for evacuated glazing”, In: Proceedings of World Renewable Energy Congress VI, 2000, Brighton, UK. Oxford: Pergamon, pp. 271-274.
[6] A. Zacharopoulos, J. D. Mondol, M. Smyth, T. Hyde and V. O'Brien., “State of the art solar simulator with flexible mounting”, In: ISES Solar World Congress, 2009, Johannesburg, South Africa. International Solar Energy Society. 10 pp.
[7] P.W. Griffiths, M. Di Leo, P. Cartwright, P. C. Eames, Yianoulis, G. Leftheriotis and B. Norton., “Fabrication of Evacuated Glazing at Low Temperature”, Solar Energy, 63(4), 1998, pp. 243-249.


  • Evacuated Glass Enclosure
  • Vacuum Insulation
  • Evacuated Co-centric tube
  • Solar thermal
  • Solar simulator
  • Infrared Thermography


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