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Research Papers: Melting and Solidification

Inward Solidification Heat Transfer of Nano-Enhanced Phase Change Materials in a Spherical Capsule: An Experimental Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Zi-Qin Zhu, Min-Jie Liu, Nan Hu, Yuan-Kai Huang, Zi-Tao Yu

Institute of Thermal Science and Power Systems,
School of Energy Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China

Li-Wu Fan

Mem. ASME
Institute of Thermal Science and Power Systems,
School of Energy Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China;
State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: liwufan@zju.edu.cn

Jian Ge

Institute of Building Technology,
School of Civil Engineering and Architecture,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310058, China
e-mail: gejian1@zju.edu.cn

1These authors contributed equally to this work.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received January 10, 2017; final manuscript received July 17, 2017; published online October 4, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Gennady Ziskind.

J. Heat Transfer 140(2), 022301 (Oct 04, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: HT-17-1013; doi: 10.1115/1.4037776 History: Received January 10, 2017; Revised July 17, 2017

The classical problem of inward solidification heat transfer inside a spherical capsule, with an application to thermal energy storage (TES), was revisited in the presence of nano-enhanced phase change materials (NePCM). The model NePCM samples were prepared by dispersing graphite nanoplatelets (GNPs) into 1-tetradecanol (C14H30O) at loadings up to 3.0 wt %. The transient phase change, energy retrieval, and heat transfer rates during solidification of the various NePCM samples were measured quantitatively using a volume-shrinkage-based indirect method. The data reduction and analysis were carried out under single-component, homogeneous assumption of the NePCM samples without considering the microscale transport phenomena of GNPs. It was shown that the total solidification time becomes monotonously shorter with increasing the loading of GNPs, in accordance with the increased effective thermal conductivity. The maximum relative acceleration of solidification was found to be more than 50% for the most concentrated sample, which seems to be appreciable for practical applications. In addition to enhanced heat conduction, the possible effects due to the elimination of supercooling and viscosity growth were elucidated. The heat retrieval rate was also shown to be increased monotonously with raising the loading of GNPs, although the heat storage capacity is sacrificed. Despite the remarkable acceleration of the solidification time, the use of a high loading (e.g., 3.0 wt %) was demonstrated to be possibly uneconomical because of the marginal gain in heat retrieval rate. Finally, correlations for the transient variations of the melt fraction and surface-averaged Nusselt number were proposed.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the experimental setup for studying inward solidification in a spherical capsule using the volume shrinkage method

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Transient variations of the melt fraction during solidification of the various NePCM samples at the boundary subcooling degree of (a) 10 °C, (b) 20 °C, and (c) 30 °C

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Fig. 3

Variations of the melt fraction as correlated with a combination of scaled dimensionless groupings (FoSte*) for the (a) 0.0 wt %, (b) 0.5 wt %, (c) 1.0 wt %, and (d) 3.0 wt % NePCM samples

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Fig. 4

Variations of the melt fraction as correlated with a combination of scaled dimensionless groupings (FoSte*) for all cases

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Fig. 5

Transient variations of the total heat retrieved during solidification of the various NePCM samples at the boundary subcooling degree of (a) 10 °C, (b) 20 °C, and (c) 30 °C

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Fig. 6

Variations of the dimensionless heat retrieval ratio with respect to the dimensionless time during solidification of the various NePCM samples at the boundary subcooling degree of (a) 10 °C, (b) 20 °C, and (c) 30 °C

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Variations of the surface-averaged Nu number as correlated with a combination of scaled dimensionless groupings (FoSte*) for the (a) 0.0 wt %, (b) 0.5 wt %, (c) 1.0 wt %, and (d) 3.0 wt % NePCM samples

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Variations of the surface-averaged Nu number as correlated with a combination of scaled dimensionless groupings (FoSte*) for all cases

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