Latent thermal energy storage (LTS) systems are versatile due to their high-energy storage density within a small temperature range. In shell-and-tube type storage systems fins can be used in order to achieve enhanced charging and discharging power. Typically, circular fins are evenly distributed over the length of the heat exchanger pipe. However, it is yet to be proven that this allocation is the most suitable for every kind of system and application. Consequently, within this paper, a simulation model was developed in order to examine the effect of different fin distributions on the performance of shell-and-tube type latent thermal storage units at discharge. The model was set up in MATLAB Simulink R2015b (The MathWorks, Inc., Natick, MA, USA) based on the enthalpy method and validated by a reference model designed in ANSYS Fluent 15.0 (ANSYS, Inc., Canonsburg, PA, USA). The fin density of the heat exchanger pipe was increased towards the pipe outlet. This concentration of fins was implemented linearly, exponentially or suddenly with the total number of fins remaining constant during the variation of fin allocations. Results show that there is an influence of fin allocation on storage performance. However, the average storage performance at total discharge only increased by three percent with the best allocation compared to an equidistant arrangement.
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