Research Papers

A Simple Experimental Method for Thermal Characterization of Shape-Stabilized Phase Change Materials

[+] Author and Article Information
E. Palomo Del Barrio, J. L. Dauvergne, V. Morisson

Laboratoire TREFLE UMR 8508 TREFLE—Site ENSAM, Université Bordeaux 1-CNRS, Esplanade des Arts et Métiers, 33405 Talence, France

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(4), 041010 (Sep 22, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3197838 History: Received December 29, 2008; Revised May 19, 2009; Published September 22, 2009

A new method for characterization of shape-stabilized phase change materials (PCMs) based on one single sample and one single experimental device has been proposed. The simplicity of the experimental device is comparable to that of the T-history method: a cylinder of PCM, which is heated/cooled in a furnace following specific temperature patterns (steps, isotherms, and ramps). Instead of simple energy balances as in the T-history method, a numerical heat transfer model is used to retrieve the whole set of parameters/functions characterizing the PCM from temperature measurements at one single point within the PCM. A powerful inversion technique has been proposed for that. Its most striking feature is that it allows identification of enthalpy-temperature functions in an easy way. They are retrieved by solving a problem of time-dependent source estimation by inversion of a linear heat conduction model. It is shown that unknown sources are the output of a linear and invariant state model whose inputs are measured temperatures within the PCM. Enthalpy-temperature functions, as well as parameters derived from heat capacities, transition temperatures, and latent heat, are thus calculated in a simple way. An experimental test for characterization of graphite/salt composites has been carried out to illustrate the appropriateness of our developments.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Sketch of the experimental protocol

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Figure 2

On the left: sketch of the test cylinder with dimensions in millimeters. On the right: view of the instrumented test cylinder within the furnace.

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Figure 3

Data from the experiment

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Figure 4

Temperature measurements at r=0 (symbols) and simulations (continuous line) carried out with fitted models. On the left: PCM in solid state. On the right: PCM in liquid state.

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Figure 5

Enthalpy-temperature functions for (a) melting and (b) crystallization. Apparent thermal capacity for (c) melting and (d) crystallization.

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Figure 6

Measurements and simulations of the (a) heating period and (b) cooling period. Residuals of the (c) heating period and (d) cooling period.



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