Improvement of a thermal energy storage using plates with paraffin–graphite composite
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This work aims at designing a thermal energy storage (TES) using air as heat transfer medium, efficient mainly for free-cooling but also for other applications, improving the low heat transfer rates dues to the thermal conductivity of the materials usually employed in these systems, phase change materials (PCM). In this paper, free-cooling means the storage of cold from the night to be used during the day to cool down a room. An experimental set-up has been constructed to simulate the application. The loading and unloading processes (melting and freezing of the PCM) have two disadvantages: a relative long duration, in the range from 3 to 8 h, and a very high power consumption of the fans. Using a porous matrix of graphite where the PCM is embedded, both handicaps can be noticeably overcome. The application is studied, both experimentally and numerically.