Solar Still, Numerical Simulation, Performance


To improve modeling of solar still behavior, the convection correlations currently used need to be improved upon. Variations in operating parameters and cover geometries make it difficult to use a single correlation to describe the operation of all solar stills. In this work, three right triangles (representing covers at 15, 30, and 45 deg) were modeled, meshed, and solved to predict the convection heat transfer inside for a variety of operating conditions. For a correlation of the form Nu = C · Ran, it was found that C = 1.1, 0.60, and 0.71, and n = 0.19, 0.24, and 0.24 for 15, 30, and 45 deg, respectively. A grid dependency study implied error of up to 37% for the computational fluid dynamics data (and therefore the correlation). The correlation is useful for Rayleigh numbers ranging from 2.9 × 103 to 7.1 × 108, with error up to 37%. The correlation showed some reasonable agreement with Shruti’s correlation, and extends the range of Rayleigh numbers over which an estimate for the Nusselt number can be made. The results here also verify the need for a correlation that accounts for specific cover geometry.

Original Publication Citation

LeFevre J., Jerry Bowman W. and Jones M. R., “Numerical Simulation of Convection in Triangular Cavities to Predict Solar Still Performance,” Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2013, pp. 482–488. doi: JTHTEO 0887-8722

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor