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Key factors impacting performance of a salinity gradient solar pond exposed to Mediterranean climate

Torkmahalleh, Mehdi Amouei
Askari, Mohammad
Gorjinezhad, Soudabeh
Eroglu, Dilem
Obaidullah, Madina
Habib, Abdullrahman Rajab
Godelek, Sevgi
Kadyrov, Sultan
Kahraman, Orhun
Pakzad, Negar Zare
Ahmadi, Goodarz
Solar ponds are low cost pools of brine solutions with integrated storage zones that harvest incident solar energy and store it as thermal energy. The current study examined the performance of a salinity gradient solar pond under the Mediterranean climatic condition for ten consecutive months of operation, from October 8, 2014 to July 31, 2015. The presented results are based on the experimental data of a smallscale circular pond, 61 cm in diameter a height of 55 cm, constructed and operated at Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus (METUNCC). The study showed the necessity of regular surface washing and having excess undissolved salt at the lower convective zone (LCZ) to maintain the pond stability. The variations in the temperature of the non-convective (NCZ) and lower convective zones (LCZ) are found to be a function of both ambient temperature and solar irradiation (insolation). The variation of the overall pond's temperature strongly follows the changes in ambient temperature while solar insolation directly affects the increase in temperature gradient by depth. During the period of this study, the pond reached the highest average temperature of 48 degrees C in July 2015 while the average ambient temperature ;for this month was 30 degrees C.