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Computational Evaluation of Latent Heat Energy Storage Using a High Temperature Phase Change Material

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael R. Reid, Rebecca N. Webb, Taylor C. Lilly

University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO

David B. Scharfe

ERC, Incorporated, Edwards AFB, CA

Paper No. ES2012-91319, pp. 1051-1057; 7 pages
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 23–26, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4481-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Latent heat energy storage systems have higher energy density than their sensible heat counterparts and have the added benefit of constant temperature operation. This work computationally evaluates a thermal energy storage system using molten silicon as a phase change material. A cylindrical receiver, absorber, converter system was evaluated using the heat transfer in solids with surface-to surface radiation physics module of the commercially available COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software. The progression of the solidification and melting fronts through the phase change material was modeled for two different methods of concentrated solar irradiation delivery. Heating the core of the PCM rather than the top of the PCM decreased the required solar input by 17%, decreasing the solar collector area required as well as lowering overall system weight.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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