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Simultaneous Charging/Discharging of Phase Change Materials: Characterization of Natural Convection Process


Simultaneous Charging/Discharging of Phase Change Materials: Characterization of Natural Convection Process

Mastani Joybari, Mahmood (2017) Simultaneous Charging/Discharging of Phase Change Materials: Characterization of Natural Convection Process. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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In recent decades, latent heat storage in phase change materials (PCMs) received considerable attention. This is due to their high latent heat capacity, which is essentially required for managing and overcoming the temporal mismatch between energy supply and demand. Thus, at the time of energy availability at supply side, it is stored in PCMs so as to be extracted later on when it is needed. In order to provide continuous operation, there are some periods when a thermal storage has to be simultaneously charged and discharged. Most studies focused either on charging, discharging, or consecutive charging and discharging process, while limited work has been conducted for the case of simultaneous charging and discharging (SCD). The first objective of this dissertation is to develop a numerical model to analyze the heat transfer mechanism within a horizontal PCM storage under SCD. Since the possible heat transfer mechanisms within PCMs are conduction, convection or a combination of both, two models are used to identify the mechanism under SCD; i.e. the pure conduction (PC) model and combined conduction and natural convection (CCNC) model. The PC model is a hypothetical model, which neglects the natural convection during phase change process; however, the CCNC model is the real case one. Validation of the model results by comparison with experimental data shows an acceptable agreement both under melting and solidification. Therefore, the developed model can be used to numerically study the phase change process in PCMs.
Natural convection is the result of density changes, which create buoyancy forces within melted PCM and plays a significant role during melting. Currently, the most widely used method to account for natural convection is the effective thermal conductivity method. The method considers an artificial increase in thermal conductivity values to take into consideration the effect of natural convection by comparing the results with experimental data. Two major shortcomings of this method are that first, it is tedious to obtain the proper value and second, the method does not provide information about the melting front location. In this dissertation, a novel simplified front tracking method is presented to replace the thermal conductivity method. The novel method is based on considering two separate melting fronts for the upper and lower halves of a horizontal thermal storage system. Therefore, two dimensionless correlations are developed to map the results of the simple PC model to that of the complicated CCNC model based on the presented logic. The method essentially creates a link between CCNC and PC models, which is also missing in the literature. Based on verification, the correlations can provide results within ±15% discrepancy.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Mastani Joybari, Mahmood
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Building Engineering
Date:25 July 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Haghighat, Fariborz
Keywords:Phase change material; Simultaneous charging and discharging; Natural convection; Front tracking
ID Code:982737
Deposited On:08 Nov 2017 20:31
Last Modified:15 Aug 2019 00:00
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