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.
Latent Heat Storage: Container Geometry, Enhancement Techniques, and Applications—A Review
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.
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Arunachalam, S. (March 27, 2019). "Latent Heat Storage: Container Geometry, Enhancement Techniques, and Applications—A Review." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. October 2019; 141(5): 050801. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4043126
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