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Research Papers

Numerical Analysis on Thermal Energy Storage Device With Finned Copper Tube for an Indirect Type Solar Drying System

[+] Author and Article Information
Satyapal Yadav

Mechanical Engineering Department,
National Institute of Technology, Warangal,
Warangal 506004, Telangana, India
e-mail: satyame42@gmail.com

V. P. Chandramohan

Mechanical Engineering Department,
National Institute of Technology, Warangal,
Warangal 506004, Telangana, India
e-mail: vpcm80@gmail.com

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 July 7, 2017; final manuscript received December 2, 2017; published online March 13, 2018. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(3), 031009 (Mar 13, 2018) (13 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1275; doi: 10.1115/1.4039273 History: Received July 07, 2017; Revised December 02, 2017

Solar dryer with thermal energy storage device is an essential topic for food drying applications in industries. In this work, a two-dimensional (2D) numerical model is developed for the application of solar drying of agricultural products in an indirect type solar dryer. The phase-change material (PCM) used in this work is paraffin wax. The study has been performed on a single set of concentric tube which consists of a finned inner copper tube for air flow and an outer plastic tube for PCM material. The practical domain is modeled using ANSYS, and computer simulations were performed using ANSYS fluent 2015. The air velocity and temperature chosen for this study are based on the observation of indirect type solar dryer experimental setup. From this numerical analysis, the temperature distribution, melting, and solidification fraction of PCM are estimated at different air flow velocities, time, and inlet temperature of air. It is concluded that the drying operation can be performed up to 10.00 p.m. as the PCM transfers heat to inlet air up to 10.00 p.m. and before it got charged up to 3.00 p.m. because of solar radiation. The maximum outlet temperature is 341.62 K (68.62 °C) which is suitable for food drying applications. Higher air flow velocity enhances quick melting of PCM during charging time and quick cooling during recharging of inlet air; therefore, higher air flow velocity is not preferred for food drying during cooling of PCM.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

(a) Mesh generated for CFD simulation and (b) enlarged view (15%)

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Fig. 1

(a) Overall view of PCM container, (b) 2D view of copper and plastic concentric tubes, and (c) created geometry on ANSYS fluent

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Fig. 7

Melt fraction variations with respect to time and at different velocities

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Fig. 5

Comparison of present numerical work with numerical result [12]

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Fig. 6

Variation of inlet (Tia) and outlet (Toa) air temperature

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Fig. 14

Variation of temperature at 7.00 p.m. with different velocities of air

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Fig. 15

Temperature distribution of TES device at air velocity of 1 m/s and at (a) 7.00 p.m., (b) 8.00 p.m., and (c) 9.00 p.m.

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Fig. 16

Temperature distribution of TES device at air velocity of 4 m/s and at (a) 7.00 p.m., (b) 8.00 p.m., and (c) 9.00 p.m.

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Fig. 17

Melting fraction contour at air velocity 1 m/s and at (a) 7.00 p.m., (b) 8.00 p.m., and (c) 9.00 p.m.

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Fig. 18

Melting fraction contour at air velocity 4 m/s and at (a) 7.00 p.m., (b) 8.00 p.m., and (c) 9.00 p.m.

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Fig. 19

Heat lost or gained by air at different air flow velocities

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Fig. 4

(a) Grid-independent test and (b) time-independent test

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Fig. 8

Average temperature of PCM throughout the day (charging and reuse) at different velocities

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Fig. 9

Temperature contour at 11.00 a.m. at air velocities (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3, and (d) 4 m/s

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Fig. 10

Melt fraction contour at 11.00 a.m. at air velocities (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3, and (d) 4 m/s

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Fig. 11

Variation of temperature at 11.00 a.m. with different velocities of air

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Fig. 12

Temperature contour at 7.00 p.m. at air velocities (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3, and (d) 4 m/s

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Fig. 3

(a) Experimental setup with solar flat collector and (b) schematic of solar dryer

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Fig. 13

Melt fraction contour at 7.00 p.m. and at air velocities (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3, and (d) 4 m/s

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