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Research Papers

Computational Modeling of Dynamic Response of a Latent Thermal Energy Storage System With Embedded Heat Pipes

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Pitchumani

Fellow ASME
e-mail: pitchu@vt.edu
Advanced Materials and
Technologies Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0238

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received March 29, 2013; final manuscript received May 28, 2013; published online July 18, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Nathan Siegel.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(1), 011010 (Jul 18, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1102; doi: 10.1115/1.4024745 History: Received March 29, 2013; Revised May 28, 2013

Concentrating solar power plants (CSPs) are being explored as the leading source of renewable energy for future power generation. Storing sun's energy in the form of latent thermal energy of a phase change material (PCM) is desirable for use on demand including times when solar energy is unavailable. Considering a latent thermal energy storage (LTES) system incorporating heat pipes to enhance heat transfer between the heat transfer fluid (HTF) and the PCM, this paper explores the dynamic response of the LTES system subjected to repeated cycles of charging and discharging. A transient computational analysis of a shell-and-tube LTES embedded with two horizontal heat pipes is performed for repeated charging and discharging of the PCM to analyze the dynamic performance of the LTES, and the augmentation in the cyclic performance of the LTES embedded with heat pipes is investigated. A model low temperature phase change material system is considered in the present study, with the physical results being scalable to high temperature systems used in CSP plants.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic illustration of LTES with two horizontal heat pipes (2-HHP)

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Fig. 2

Comparisons of the numerically determined volumetric liquid fraction with experimental data reported by Jones et al. [22]

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Fig. 3

Transient variations of the energy availability and melt fraction contours within the PCM in (a) LTES without any heat pipes and (b) LTES with 2-HHP for a cycle ratio of 1

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Fig. 4

Transient variations of the charging and discharging rate of the PCM in (a) LTES without any heat pipes and (b) LTES with 2-HHP for a cycle ratio of 1

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Fig. 5

Transient variations of the energy availability and melt fraction contours within the PCM in (a) LTES without any heat pipes and (b) LTES with 2-HHP for a cycle ratio of 0.5

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Fig. 6

Transient variations of the charging and discharging rate of the PCM in (a) LTES without any heat pipes and (b) LTES with 2-HHP for a cycle ratio of 0.5

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Fig. 7

Transient variations of the charging and discharging rate of the PCM in (a) LTES without any heat pipes and (b) LTES with 2-HHP for a cycle ratio of 2

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Fig. 8

Effect of the cycle ratios on the energy (a) charged and (b) discharged in a cycle for LTES without any heat pipes

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Fig. 9

Effect of the cycle ratios on the energy (a) charged and (b) discharged in a LTES embedded with 2-HHP

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Fig. 10

Transient variation of the effectiveness of the LTES with 2-HHP for the three different cycle ratios

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