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DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2014.IntSympConvHeatMassTransf.90
pages 145-159

Aditya Atal
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Michigan -Dearborn

Yuping Wang
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Michigan -Dearborn

Mayur Harsha
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Subrata Sengupta
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Mochigan-Dearborn, Evergreen road, Dearborn, Michigan, USA − 48128


The use of phase change material for thermal storage and management has been investigated for many years for cooling of electronic devices, thermal storage and management of built environments. One of the underlying difficulties has been often slow storage and discharge of energy and methodology for managing the time scales. This is crucial for reliable design of devices.
The configuration chosen is a shell and tube arrangement where the heat transfer fluid flows in a central tube with Phase Change Material (PCM) in the shell. The shell is filled with Aluminum foam.
The experiments are focused on determining the charging and discharging rates of this thermal battery. Paraffin is the PCM with melting range 50°C to 60°C, latent heat of 117KJ/kg, Stefan number Ste=0.68 based on ΔT=30, Prandtl number Pr=70. Five percent metal foam is used. The experimental procedure consists of starting at room temperature and then flowing air with an arbitrary Reynolds Number at 70°C. When steady state is reached, the flow is changed to room temperature for the freezing process. Experiments have been conducted for foam, paraffin in foam and paraffin only.
Simulations have been conducted using ANSYS Fluent with qualitative agreement showing temperatures corresponding to melt and freeze cycles. After further verifications, the code can be used as a design tool for more complex geometries with better accuracy.
Composite phase change materials are effective means for designing devices with desired transient thermal characteristics. Along with changes in geometry, materials for composite PCM combinations the time scales can be significantly changed.

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