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Numerical Simulation of Heat Pipe-Assisted Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Unit for Dish-Stirling Systems

[+] Author Affiliations
Hamidreza Shabgard, Amir Faghri

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Theodore L. Bergman

The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Charles E. Andraka

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

Paper No. IMECE2013-65487, pp. V06BT07A074; 13 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6B: Energy
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5629-1
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


A two-dimensional model is developed to simulate the transient response of a heat pipe-assisted latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) unit that is combined with dish-Stirling solar power generation systems. The unit consists of a container which houses a phase change material (PCM) and two sets of interlaced input and output heat pipes (HPs) embedded in the PCM. The LHTES unit is exposed to time-varying concentrated solar irradiance. A three-stage operating scenario is investigated that includes: (i) charging only, (ii) simultaneous charging and discharging, and (iii) discharging only. In general, it was found that the PCM damps the temporal variations of the input solar irradiance, and provides relatively smooth thermal power to the engine over a time period that can extend to after-sunset hours. Heat pipe spacing was identified as a key parameter to control the dynamic response of the unit. The system with the greatest (smallest) heat pipe spacing was found to have the greatest (smallest) temperature drops across the LHTES, as well as the maximum (minimum) amount of PCM melting and solidification. Exergy analyses were also performed, and it was found that the exergy efficiencies of all the systems considered were greater than 97%, with the maximum exergy efficiency associated with the system having the minimum heat pipe spacing.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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