Intensification of heat transfer in thermal energy storage systems with phase change materials

Ismail, Mohammad (2019) Intensification of heat transfer in thermal energy storage systems with phase change materials. Doctoral thesis, Nothumbria University.

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Abstract

This research work aims to develop low- and medium-temperature thermal energy storage (TES) systems using metallic alloys and solar salt as phase change materials (PCMs) for accumulating thermal energy in the temperature ranges between 120 and 140 °C and 215 and 250 °C, respectively. The low purity metallic alloy Bi 58%-Sn 42% was selected as the PCM for low-temperature applications because it is non-hazardous, relatively inexpensive, and it has a suitable melting temperature range. Commercially available high-purity metallic alloys (99.99%) are expensive, whereas lower purity alloys can be a cost-competitive alternative for PCM applications. The sample of a low purity metal alloy, namely Bi 58%-Sn 42% with a purity of 97% was sintered in the laboratory, and its thermal properties were characterized for application as a PCM. Experimental investigations demonstrated that deterioration of the thermal properties of the low purity metal alloy is not substantial in comparison to the pure metallic alloy and that it can be efficiently used as a PCM. Solar salt (NaNO3 60% - KNO3 40%), selected as the PCM for medium-temperature applications due to its high latent heat value, has a relatively low thermal conductivity. Therefore, two techniques were adopted to improve the heat transfer in TES: deploying metallic fins and using graphite as an additive. The experimental tests demonstrate that both methods considerably improve heat transfer and data obtained was used to quantify these effects. In addition, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were carried out to evaluate the thermal performance of the metallic alloy and solar salt TES systems with different concentrations of additives and number of fins in terms of the evolution of the liquid fraction and amount of energy stored and released during charging and discharging processes as a function of time. The comparison of numerical and experimental results demonstrated the acceptable accuracy of the developed CFD models. Both experimental and numerical results were used to derive dimensionless correlations for estimation of the heat transfer intensity and time required for charging and discharging of the studied TES systems. These generated dimensionless correlations can be successfully used in engineering practice to design TES systems.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: PCM, Solar salt, Metal alloy, Dimensionless-Correlations of melting fraction and Nu number, Melting and solidification
Subjects: F200 Materials Science
H800 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
J500 Materials Technology not otherwise specified
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 05 May 2020 08:35
Last Modified: 05 May 2020 08:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/43001

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