M. Belaed, M.M. Rahman
Wichita State University,
Keywords: solidification, phase change material, thermal energy storage module
Summary:Using phase change materials (PCMs) as a storage medium has gained great attention because of its low cost and desirable size. But poor thermal conductivity makes the use of PCM challenging as this dramatically increases the time needed to charge and discharge the energy storage module. Fortunately, for high temperature energy storage applications geared towards electric power generation using solar energy, one can take advantage of enhancing thermal radiation alongside enhancing thermal conduction. The present study investigated combined enhancement of heat conduction and thermal radiation in a finned cylinder during the solidification (energy recovery) of a non-gray, non-opaque phase change material. Transient heat transfer in an axisymmetric, two-dimensional design is considered. It was found that solidification (energy recovery) time can be reduced by 76% by controlling the optical thickness property of the PCM with embedded radiation absorbing particles.