Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Alexander Domijan

Second Advisor

Dr. Arturo Fuentes

Third Advisor

Dr. Maysam Pournik


Solar water heating is a technology that is mainly used for domestic water heating in residential homes. In most applications, the idea is to make a home “off the grid” in that there is no requirement for outside infrastructure or need for energy utility to provide power to this home. This falls in line with the trend of “going green” in an effort to reduce energy use, increase efficiency, or reduce emissions and other harmful byproducts.

This technology can be adapted to reduce the energy costs of industrial manufacturing plants. By eliminating the need for certain sections of a process or system, energy can be reduced by utilizing technology that takes advantage of the renewable energy sources. The radiation of the sun is a source of energy largely underutilized in the industrial level. While solar panels may be used to generate electrical energy, processes where fuel is needed to heat material in bulk is still done by fossil fuels such as natural gas or coal.

Solar water heating takes advantage of the ever-present nature of the sun in order to heat water that would otherwise require electricity or natural gas to heat, thereby reducing the production costs by removing portions of energy requirements in the manufacturing process.

This thesis serves to test a design for a solar water heating system geared specifically to an industrial application by reducing the energy requirement of a boiler preheater. The design will show the ease of the application of solar water heating into steam generation. The design will also show the ease of renewable energy modeling programs and their viability in predicting the savings of systems.


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