Compact solar thermal energy storage systems using phase change materials

Al-Maghalseh, Maher (2014) Compact solar thermal energy storage systems using phase change materials. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

The present research explores numerically and experimentally the process of melting and solidification of Phase Change Materials (PCM) in a latent heat thermal energy storage system (LHTESS). Further, the study will investigate various methods of intensification of heat transfer in such materials by means of metallic fins, filling particles or nanoparticles and by choosing the optimal system geometry for a rapid development of free convection flows during the melting process.

The study includes three main parts. First, 3D CFD modelling was performed for the melting performance of a shell-and-tube thermal storage system with n-Octadecane as a PCM. The predicted model was in very good agreement with experimental data published in open literature. A series of numerical calculations were then undertaken to investigate the effect of nanoparticles on the heat transfer process. Dimensionless heat transfer correlations were derived for the system with Pure PCM and PCM mixed with nano-particles.

In the second part of this study the experimental studies were carried out in order to investigate the performance of the laboratory thermal storage system with paraffin as the PCM. The thermal storage system was connected to evacuated tube solar collectors and its performance was evaluated in various conditions. 3D CFD model of the system was developed and numerical simulations were run for constant heat source conditions.

Computational results were compared with experimental data obtained on the test rig at Northumbria University. Comparison revealed that the developed CFD model is capable to describe process of heat transfer in the system with high accuracy and therefore can be used with high confidence for modelling further cases.
Finally, 3D CFD model was developed to predict the transient behaviour of a latent heat thermal energy storage system (LHTESS) in the form of a rectangular container with a central horizontal pipe surrounded by paraffin as PCM (melting temperature is 60 oC). Water was used as a heat transfer fluid (HTF). The enhancement of heat transfer in specific geometries by using external longitudinal fins on the tube and metallic porous matrix were numerically investigated. The influence of the number of fins and porosity of the matrix on the temperature distribution, melting process, melting time and natural convection phenomena were studied. Dimensionless heat transfer correlations were derived for calculation of the Nusselt number as function of Fourier, Stefan and Rayleigh numbers.

These correlations to be used in the further designing process of similar thermal storage units at Northumbria University

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: phase change materials (PCM), heat transfer intensificaton methods, thermal storage using PCMs dimensionless correlations for heat transfer, CFD modelling of PCM
Subjects: H800 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
J500 Materials Technology not otherwise specified
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
University Services > Research and Innovation Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2015 10:38
Last Modified: 10 May 2017 02:36
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/23579

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