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Research Papers: Melting and Solidification

Phase Change Heat Transfer Enhancement Using Copper Porous Foam

[+] Author and Article Information
Ali Siahpush

 Idaho National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1625, Idaho Falls, ID 83415-3760ali.siahpush@inl.gov

James O’Brien

 Idaho National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1625, Idaho Falls, ID 83415-3760james.obrien@inl.gov

John Crepeau

 University of Idaho, 1776 Science Center Drive, Idaho Falls, ID 83402crepeau@uidaho.edu

J. Heat Transfer 130(8), 082301 (May 30, 2008) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2928010 History: Received February 19, 2007; Revised February 21, 2008; Published May 30, 2008

A detailed experimental and analytical study has been performed to evaluate how copper porous foam (CPF) enhances the heat transfer performance in a cylindrical solid/liquid phase change thermal energy storage system. The CPF used in this study had a 95% porosity and the phase change material (PCM) was 99% pure eicosane. The PCM and CPF were contained in a vertical cylinder where the temperature at its radial boundary was held constant, allowing both inward freezing and melting of the PCM. Detailed quantitative time-dependent volumetric temperature distributions and melt/freeze front motion and shape data were obtained. As the material changed phase, a thermal resistance layer built up, resulting in a reduced heat transfer rate between the surface of the container and the phase change front. In the freezing analysis, we analytically determined the effective thermal conductivity of the combined PCM/CPF system and the results compared well to the experimental values. The CPF increased the effective thermal conductivity from 0.423WmKto3.06WmK. For the melting studies, we employed a heat transfer scaling analysis to model the system and develop heat transfer correlations. The scaling analysis predictions closely matched the experimental data of the solid/liquid interface position and Nusselt number.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Photograph of experimental apparatus showing the copper cylinder with the copper metal foam inserted

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Figure 2

Temperature history during the freezing of eicosane at r=33mm and h=165mm with and without the CPF.

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Figure 3

Experimental data showing the location of the solid-liquid phase change front in time during freezing of the eicosane: (a) without the CPF and (b) with the CPF

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Figure 4

Temperature history during melting of the eicosane at r=33mm and h=165mm with and without the CPF

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Figure 5

Data showing the location of the solid-liquid phase change front during the melting of eicosane: (a) without the CPF and (b) with the CPF

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Figure 6

(a) Hexagonal structure of the metal matrix and (b) representative unit cell according to the model of Calmidi and Mahajan (24)

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Figure 7

Theoretical and experimental values of the effective thermal conductivity of the combined eicosane/CPF system

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Figure 8

Four regimes of melting based on the scale analysis of Jany and Bejan (26)

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Figure 9

Idealized interface slope for the variable-height regime (IV) based on the scale analysis of Jany and Bejan (26)

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Figure 10

Comparison of the experimentally determined values of the radius of fusion with the scale analysis predictions over all four melting regimes

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Figure 11

Comparison of the experimental values of the Nusselt number with the scale analysis predictions over all four melting regimes

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