Keywords: effectiveness, heat transfer coefficient, melting, phase transition, solidification, latent heat, energy storage system, paraffin wax
Thermal characteristics in latent heat energy storage system using paraffin wax
An energy storage system has been designed to study the heat transfer characteristics of paraffin wax during melting and solidification processes in a vertical annulus energy storage system. In the experimental study, three important issues are focussed. The first one is temperature distribution in the phase change material (PCM) during the phase change processes. The second one is the thermal characteristics of the paraffin wax, which includes total melting and total solidification times, the nature of heat transfer phenomena in melted and solidified PCM and the effect of Reynolds number as inlet heat transfer fluid (HTF) conditions on the heat transfer parameters. The final one is to calculate heat transfer coefficient and effectiveness during solidification process. The experimental results proved that the PCM melts and solidifies congruently, and the melting front moved from top to the bottom of the PCM container whereas the solidification front moved from bottom to the top along the axial distances in the PCM. Experiment has been performed for different water flow rates at constant inlet temperature of heat transfer fluid for recovery and use of heat. Heat transfer characteristics are studied and the dimensionless phase transition time is related to Stefan number by a simple correlation.