This work reports the operation of a Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage system (LHTES) utilizing a staggered heat exchanger (HE) and using various organic Phase Change Materials (PCMs). In a LHTES test rig set measurements regarding energy storage and release were performed in the working temperature range of each Phase Change Material. Nominal melting temperatures of the PCMs used were 40–53 °C. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation was applied to follow the operation of the test rig. The test rig consisted of a compact insulated tank, filled with PCM, a staggered heat exchanger to supply or extract thermal energy by the PCM and a water pump to circulate water as a Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF). Different HTF flow rates affect charging (melting) and discharging (solidification) processes but more significant was the effect of heat transfer mechanisms occurring. The latter was confirmed by inserting buoyancy currents created due to convection in a CFD simulation program where melting time was reduced compared to the same conditions with only conduction occurring. The suggested LHTES configuration is a promising compact unit despite the PCMs thermal resistance and solidification hysteresis phenomena, as well as the heat transfer mechanism strongly affecting the energy storage process.
Koukou, M. K., Vrachopoulos, M. G., Tachos, N. S., Dogkas, G., Lymperis, K., & Stathopoulos, V. (2018). Experimental and computational investigation of a latent heat energy storage system with a staggered heat exchanger for various phase change materials. Thermal Science and Engineering Progress, 7, 87–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsep.2018.05.004