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Review Article

Latent Heat Storage: Container Geometry, Enhancement Techniques, and Applications—A Review

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Arunachalam

Centre for Green Energy Technology,
Madanjeet School of Green Energy Technologies,
Pondicherry University,
Puducherry 605014, India
e-mail: arunachal78.res@pondiuni.edu.in

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received June 4, 2018; final manuscript received February 18, 2019; published online March 27, 2019. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(5), 050801 (Mar 27, 2019) (14 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1250; doi: 10.1115/1.4043126 History: Received June 04, 2018; Accepted February 20, 2019

Energy storage helps in waste management, environmental protection, saving of fossil fuels, cost effectiveness, and sustainable growth. Phase change material (PCM) is a substance which undergoes simultaneous melting and solidification at certain temperature and pressure and can thereby absorb and release thermal energy. Phase change materials are also called thermal batteries which have the ability to store large amount of heat at fixed temperature. Effective integration of the latent heat thermal energy storage system with solar thermal collectors depends on heat storage materials and heat exchangers. The practical limitation of the latent heat thermal energy system for successful implementation in various applications is mainly from its low thermal conductivity. Low thermal conductivity leads to low heat transfer coefficient, and thereby, the phase change process is prolonged which signifies the requirement of heat transfer enhancement techniques. Typically, for salt hydrates and organic PCMs, the thermal conductivity range varies between 0.4–0.7 W/m K and 0.15–0.3 W/m K which increases the thermal resistance within phase change materials during operation, seriously affecting efficiency and thermal response. This paper reviews the different geometry of commercial heat exchangers that can be used to address the problem of low thermal conductivity, like use of fins, additives with high thermal conductivity materials like metal strips, microencapsulated PCM, composite PCM, porous metals, porous metal foam matrix, carbon nanofibers and nanotubes, etc. Finally, different solar thermal applications and potential PCMs for low-temperature thermal energy storage were also discussed.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Classification of PCM [16]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Characterization methods for phase change materials [31]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Macroencapsulated shapes: (a) spherical, (b) tubular, (c) cylindrical, and (d) rectangular [32]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Microencapsulated PCM [33]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Commonly used PCM containers [17]; (a) pipe model, (b) shell and tube model, (c) cylindrical model, and (d) rectangular model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

(a) Compact double pipe, (b) encapsulated packed bed, and (c) encapsulated staggered cylinder [38]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Five different configurations of heat exchangers selected by Medrano et al. [45]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Enhancement methods for PCM thermal conductivity [17]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Thermal energy storage with fins [34]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Storage integrated solar water heater [75]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Storage assisted greenhouse [77]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

PCM integrated solar collector [78]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

PCM encapsulated swimming pool connected to heat exchanger [79]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Solar cooker with thermal storage [80]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Experimental setup of the ETC-PCM integrated system [82]

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