In this paper, an exergetic optimization of the solar air heater is developed. For this means, an integrated mathematical model of thermal and optical performance of the solar heater is derived. The most geometric parameters and operation conditions are considered as variables in this analysis. Some correlations for exergy efficiency of heater components are obtained. Then, exergy efficiency of the heater is derived by using these correlations. In the process of deriving an equation for the exergy efficiency, while the overall thermal loss coefficient and other heat transfer coefficients of the heater are assumed to be variable, the common error of using the Petela efficiency is corrected to reach the improved equation of solar radiation exergy. Finally, through the MATLAB toolbox the exergy efficiency equation is maximized. Then exergy efficiency is compared with the thermal efficiency of the heater, resulting in an extraordinary increase of the exergy efficiency according to the optimized parameters and benefit of this approach for such systems.
exergy, solar air heater, optimization