Thermal efficiency analysis of the phase change material (PCM) microcapsules

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Journal Article
Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 2021, 48, pp. 1-10
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The aim of the present study is to evaluate the thermal behavior of cylindrical modules in a thermal energy storage unit as a combined sensible and latent heat. A thermal energy storage unit is designed, fabricated, and connected to a cold and hot water supply at constant temperatures to monitor the performance of the storage unit. The thermal energy storage unit contains the cylindrical microcapsules containing paraffin waxes as a phase change material which is located inside an insulating cylinder storage tank. Water is used as a heat transfer fluid to transfer heat from a hot water reservoir to the thermal energy storage unit during the phase change material charging process and also during the discharging process water receives heat from the thermal energy storage unit. Charge tests are carried out at the constant temperature. Moreover, the effect of different inlet flow on storage unit performance is investigated. Data were analyzed using Design Expert software and regression analysis which indicated that the increase of charge inlet temperature and charge inlet flow leads to the increase of heat power, thermal performance of thermal energy storage unit, and output variables. In comparison to the heat storage system without phase change material, microcapsules phase change material can improve the heat power of the heat storage system. Also, based on the optimization process, the maximum thermal performance of 96.4% and the maximum heat power level of 1.7 kW can be achieved in the optimized condition of the charging inlet temperature of 75 °C, charging inlet flow of 1.8−4 m3/s, and discharging inlet temperature of 35 °C.
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