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Research Papers

Numerical and Experimental Investigation on a Combined Sensible and Latent Heat Storage Unit Integrated With Solar Water Heating System

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Nallusamy

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Pennalur, Sriperumbudur, 602 105 Tamil Nadu, Indianalls@svce.ac.in

R. Velraj

Institute for Energy Studies, College of Engineering, Anna University, Chennai 600 025, Indiavelrajr@annauniv.edu

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(4), 041002 (Sep 17, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3197600 History: Received May 23, 2007; Revised April 04, 2008; Published September 17, 2009

The present work investigates, theoretically and experimentally, the thermal performance of a packed bed combined sensible and latent heat storage unit, integrated with the solar water heating system. A one-dimensional porous medium approach with the finite difference technique is used to develop the numerical model to obtain the temperature profiles of both the phase change material (PCM) and heat transfer fluid (HTF), and the molten mass fraction of the PCM at any axial location of the cylindrical storage tank during the charging process. The model also incorporates the effect of the varying fluid inlet temperature to accommodate the actual conditions that prevails in the solar collector. Experimental apparatus utilizing paraffin as PCM, which is filled in high-density polyethylene spherical capsules, is constructed and integrated with a solar flat plate collector to conduct the experiments. The water used as HTF to transfer heat from the solar collector to the storage tank also acts as a sensible heat storage (SHS) material. The results of the numerical model are compared into the experimental results of the temperature profile for various porosities and HTF flow rates. It is found that the results of the numerical model are in good agreement with the experimental results. The performance parameters, such as instantaneous heat stored, cumulative heat stored, and charging rate are also studied in detail.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

General layout of the packed bed combined storage system

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Figure 2

Schematic of experimental setup

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Figure 3

Photographic view of experimental setup

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Figure 4

Comparison of theoretical and experimental temperature profiles of HTF

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Figure 5

Comparison of theoretical and experimental temperature profiles of PCM

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Figure 6

Theoretical temperature profiles of PCM

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Figure 7

Theoretical temperature profiles of HTF

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Figure 8

Experimental temperature profiles of PCM for various HTF flow rates

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Figure 9

Comparison of theoretical and experimental PCM temperatures for various HTF flow rates

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Figure 10

Experimental temperature profiles of PCM for various porosities

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Figure 11

Molten mass fraction of PCM at different heights of TES tank

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Figure 12

Molten mass fraction of PCM for two different mass flow rates

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Figure 13

Comparison of molten mass fraction of PCM for various porosities

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Figure 14

Comparison of theoretical and experimental instantaneous heat stored

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Figure 15

Experimental variation in the cumulative heat stored

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