Thermal energy storage performance of PCM/graphite matrix composite in a tube-in-shell geometry


THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING PROGRESS, vol.23, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Melting heat transfer performance and measuring energy storage efficiency via total melting time of PCM/ graphite matrix in a tube-in-shell for solar thermal energy storage and recovering waste heat applications is studied experimentally. The phase change material (PCM)-organic/paraffin (P56-58), is impregnated into the graphite matrix, with the bulk density of 50 g/L. The effect of inlet temperature (Tinlet = 75 ?C and 85 ?C) of heat transfer fluid (HTF) on total melting time is obtained. The time-history of temperature measurements, thermal camera imaging, and liquid fraction are obtained to reveal the thermal performance of PCM/graphite matrix in a tube-in-shell latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) system in detail. The results show that the PCM/ graphite matrix has a remarkable effect on the phase change heat transfer and total melting time. The thermal performance of the PCM/graphite matrix is presented comparatively with the conventional tube-in-shell storage unit. Effective thermal conductivity which enhances the heat transfer rate is shown to increase 35 times compared to that of pure paraffin. The total melting time decreases by about 92% compared to the conventional tube-in-shell unit. Uniform melting behaviour is observed based on highly conductive abundant thermal paths for PCM/graphite matrix. Heat transfer takes place by dominant conduction for the PCM/graphite matrix. Leakage issue is prevented using graphite matrix encapsulation. Total melting time is decreased by about 31% with the increase in HTF inlet temperature for the PCM/graphite matrix.