STORING SOLAR ENERGY INSIDE COMPRESSED AIR THROUGH A HEAT MACHINE MECHANISM
Energy utilization in residences, industry and transportation is increasing in every other day, and knowing that most of the energy used today is supplied by finite fossil fuels is worrying enough. Since fossil resources are finite and their consumption leads to greenhouse gases to increase in the atmosphere. Global warming is a consequence of greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere much more than limits. To deal with such matters governments and industries must take responsibility to develop and start using the renewable energy sources. Solar energy is the most substantial energy source in the world. One hour of the solar energy reaching the earth surface can compansate all energy need of the world for one year. In this study, it was considered that the solar energy can be stored as potential energy of compressed air. This can be simply accomplished by a heat engine. Here, air enclosed in a solar collector heats up and so does it gain pressure. Then the air pressure drives a double actuated piston cylinder mechanism. The moving piston compresses the embient air to a storage tank on the other side of the mechanism. By this way, the compressed air is always ready for use in necessary applications. Solar heat machine works according to Carnot Heat Machine Mechanism. The theromodynamic cycle is open to atmosphere; therefore, the air heated by solar energy is replaced with fresh air at the end of each cycle. The exhausted hot air can also be used for heating water or building. Here, a theoretical approach has been developed for the solar heat meachine cycle. In this approach, the thermal efficiency and solar conversion efficiency were defined with analytical relations obtained.
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