Experimental analysis of the effectiveness of a high temperature thermal storage tank for solar cooling applications
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Thermal energy storage (TES) systems are growing to a relevant role in solar cooling applications. Hence, high energy density is a desirable property of the TES system. Phase change materials (PCM) helps to increase this characteristic. A high temperature pilot plant able to test different types of TES systems and materials was designed and built at the University of Lleida (Spain). This pilot plant is composed mainly of three parts: heating system, cooling system, and different storage tanks. Two identical storage tanks based on the shell-and-tubes heat exchanger, one of them including 196 squared fins in the bundle of the tubes and the other without, were experimentally tested. Hydroquinone was selected as the storage material, having a latent heat of 205 kJ/kg and a phase change temperature between 168 and 173 C. The aim of this paper is to test experimentally, and compare the average effectiveness of the TES systems analyzed using PCM for solar cooling and refrigeration applications. It was found out that for the same tank configurations (shell-and-tubes) even changing drastically the dimensions of the tank or the number and the diameter of the tubes, the average effectiveness curve proposed in the literature fits well with the results showed here.