Heat transfer enhancement in water when used as PCM in thermal energy storage
MetadataShow full item record
Efficient and reliable storage systems for thermal energy are an important requirement in many applications where heat demand and supply or availability do not coincide. Heat and cold stores can basically be divided in two groups. In sensible heat stores the temperature of the storage material is increased significantly. Latent heat stores, on the contrary, use a storage material that undergoes a phase change (PCM) and a small temperature rise is sufficient to store heat or cold. The major advantages of the phase change stores are their large heat storage capacity and their isothermal behavior during the charging and discharging process. However, while unloading a latent heat storage, the solid–liquid interface moves away from the heat transfer surface and the heat flux decreases due to the increasing thermal resistance of the growing layer of the molten/solidified medium. This effect can be reduced using techniques to increase heat transfer. In this paper, three methods to enhance the heat transfer in a cold storage working with water/ice as PCM are compared: addition of stainless steel pieces, copper pieces (both have been proposed before) and a new PCM-graphite composite material. The PCM-graphite composite material showed an increase in heat flux bigger than with any of the other techniques.