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Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Melting Process in PCM Storage

[+] Author Affiliations
Makoto Shibahara

Kobe City College of Technology, Kobe, Japan

Paper No. ES2015-49350, pp. V002T18A006; 6 pages
  • ASME 2015 9th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2015 Power Conference, the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, and the ASME 2015 Nuclear Forum
  • Volume 2: Photovoltaics; Renewable-Non-Renewable Hybrid Power System; Smart Grid, Micro-Grid Concepts; Energy Storage; Solar Chemistry; Solar Heating and Cooling; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Transportation; Symposium on Integrated/Sustainable Building Equipment and Systems; Thermofluid Analysis of Energy Systems Including Exergy and Thermoeconomics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 28–July 2, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5685-7
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Thermal energy storage (TES) technologies have been developed using Phase Change Materials (PCM) at various power plants to utilize waste heat sources. The melting process of PCM has been investigated experimentally and numerically to construct a fundamental database of TES systems. D-Mannitol was selected as a PCM for medium TES systems in this study. The experimental apparatus consisted of the cartridge heater, thermocouples, test tube, acryl tube, vacuum pump, pressure indicator, volt slider and shunt resistance. The temperatures near the cartridge heater were measured by K-type thermocouples. The heat inputs were ranged from 10W to 15W. As a result, temperature of D-mannitol increased with time linearly under the solid state until the fusion temperature. When D-mannitol changed from the solid phase to the liquid phase, temperatures remained constantly due to the latent heat. Moreover, the numerical simulation was conducted using the commercial CFD code, ANSYS FLUENT. As a result of the numerical simulation, it was understood that the melting process was affected by the natural convection at the inner wall. As the heat flux of the cartridge heater input from the inner wall, the liquid fraction increased from the inner wall to the outer wall. The numerical result was compared with the experimental data. It was understood that the temperature of numerical simulation was approximately consistent with that of the experiment during the phase change process.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Melting , Storage



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