Numerical Investigation and Nondimensional Analysis of the Dynamic Performance of a Thermal Energy Storage System Containing Phase Change Materials and Liquid Water Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The dynamic performance of a thermal energy storage tank containing phase change material (PCM) cylinders is investigated computationally. Water flowing along the length of the cylinders is used as the heat transfer fluid. A numerical model based on the enthalpy-porosity method is developed and validated against experimental data from the literature. The performance of this hybrid PCM/water system was assessed based on the gain in energy storage capacity compared to a sensible only system. Gains can reach as high as 179% by using 50% packing ratio and 10 °C operating temperature range in water tanks. Gains are highly affected by the choice of PCM module diameter; they are almost halved as diameter increases four times. They are also affected by the mass flow rate nonlinearly. A nondimensional analysis of the energy storage capacity gains as a function of the key nondimensional parameters (Stefan, Fourier, and Reynolds numbers) as well as PCM melting temperature was performed. The simulations covered ranges of 0.1 <  Stẽ  < 0.4, 0 < Fo < 600, 20 < Re < 4000, 0.2<(ρCP)*<0.8, and 0.2<θm<0.8.

publication date

  • April 1, 2017