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Research Papers

Heat Transfer Characterization and Optimization of Latent Heat Thermal Storage System Using Fins for Medium Temperature Solar Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Asmita Shinde

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay,
Mumbai 400076, India
e-mail: asmitasshinde@gmail.com

Sankalp Arpit

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay,
Mumbai 400076, India
e-mail: sankalp.arpit815@gmail.com

Pramod KM

HP Green R&D Centre,
Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd.,
Bangalore 560 067, India
e-mail: pramodcusat@gmail.com

Peddy V C. Rao

HP Green R&D Centre,
Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd.,
Bangalore 560 067, India
e-mail: drpvcrao@hpcl.in

Sandip K. Saha

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay,
Mumbai 400076, India
e-mail: sandip.saha@iitb.ac.in

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received May 23, 2016; final manuscript received December 8, 2016; published online February 8, 2017. Editor: Robert F. Boehm.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(3), 031003 (Feb 08, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-16-1237; doi: 10.1115/1.4035517 History: Received May 23, 2016; Revised December 08, 2016

While solar thermal power plants are increasingly gaining attention and have demonstrated their applications, extending electricity generation after the sunset using phase change material (PCM) still remains a grand challenge. Most of the organic PCMs are known to possess high energy density per unit volume, but low thermal conductivity, that necessitates the use of thermal conductivity enhancers (TCEs) to augment heat transfer within PCM. In this paper, thermal performance and optimization of shell and tube heat exchanger-based latent heat thermal energy storage system (LHTES) using fins as TCE for medium temperature (<300 °C) organic Rankine cycle (ORC)-based solar thermal plant are presented. A commercial grade organic PCM, A164 with melting temperature of 168.7 °C is filled in the shell side and heat transfer fluid (HTF), Hytherm 600 flows through the tubes. A three-dimensional numerical model using enthalpy technique is developed to study the solidification of PCM, with and without fin. Further, the effect of geometrical parameters of fin, such as fin thickness, fin height, and number of fin on the thermal performance of LHTES, is studied. It is found that fin thickness and number of fin play significant role on the solidification process of PCM. Finally, the optimum design of the fin geometry is determined by maximizing the combined objective of HTF outlet temperature and solid fraction of PCM at the end of the discharging period. The latent heat thermal storage system with 24 fins, each of 1 mm thickness and 7 mm height, is found to be the optimum design for the given set of operating parameters.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Layout of ORC-based solar thermal power plant considered in this study. HTF flows through the parabolic trough during charging period (dashed line) and it is diverted after sunset (continuous line).

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Fig. 2

Melting temperature and latent heat of fusion of PCM from DSC

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Fig. 3

Schematic diagram of the physical configuration of the LHTES. The dotted line shows the numerical domain along with the boundary conditions: (a) front view and (b) side view.

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Fig. 4

Validation of the present numerical model with the experimental and numerical results reported by Al-Abidi et al.[34]

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Fig. 5

Grid independence study

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Fig. 6

Temporal variation of HTF outlet temperature for convection and conduction as mode of heat transfer during solidification of PCM

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Fig. 7

Melt fraction contour at (a) 600 s, (c) 2400 s, and temperature contour (°C) at (b) 600 s, (d) 2400 s of the LHTES filled with PCM at a cross section located at 0.4 m from the inlet

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Fig. 8

Transient variation of HTF outlet temperature for different outer tube locations

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Fig. 9

Temporal variation of HTF outlet temperature for different numbers of fin (fin thickness 1.2 mm and height 7 mm)

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Fig. 10

Melt fraction of (b) 600 s and (d) 2400 and temperature contours ( °C) at (a) 600 s, (c) 2400 s of the LHTES with six fins of thickness 1.2 mm and height 7 mm at a cross section located at 0.4 m from the inlet

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Fig. 11

Effect of annular and longitudinal fins on HTF outlet temperature for LHTES with six fins

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Fig. 12

Effect of fin thickness on HTF outlet temperature for six fins with 7 mm height

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Fig. 13

Effect of fin height on HTF outlet temperature for six fins with 1.2 mm thickness

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Fig. 14

Optimization of number of fin, fin thickness using HTF outlet temperature and solid fraction of PCM as a combined objective function

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