Experimental evaluation of a paraffin as phase change material for thermal energy storage in laboratory equipment and in a shell-and-tube heat exchanger
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The thermal behavior of a commercial paraffin with a melting temperature of 58 ºC is analyzed as a phase change material (PCM) candidate for industrial waste heat recovery and domestic hot water applications. A full and complete characterization of this PCM is performed based on two different approaches: a laboratory characterization (mass range of milligrams) and an analysis in a pilot plant (mass range of kilograms). In the laboratory characterization, its thermal and cycling stability, its health hazard as well as its phase change thermal range, enthalpy and specific heat are analyzed using a differential scanning calorimeter, thermogravimetric analysis, thermocycling and infrared spectroscopy. Laboratory analyses showed its suitability up to 80 ºC and for 1200 cycles. In the pilot plant analysis, its thermal behavior was analyzed in a shell-and-tube heat exchanger under different heat transfer fluid mass flow rates in terms of temperature, power and energy rates. Results from the pilot plant analysis allowed understanding the different methods of heat transfer in real charging and discharging processes as well as the influence of the geometry of the tank on the energy transferred and required time for charging and discharging processes.