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Open AccessArticle

On the Melting Process of the Phase Change Material in Horizontal Rectangular Enclosures

1
Department of Mechanics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
2
Hubei Key Laboratory of Engineering Structural Analysis and Safety Assessment, Luoyu Road 1037, Wuhan 430074, China
3
School of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(16), 3100; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12163100
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Thermal Management)
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Abstract

Phase change material (PCM) is one of the most important ways to store and manage energy. The melting process of PCM in a rectangular enclosure with the different aspect ratio is frequently related to some thermal energy storage devices. In this work, the melting of PCM in the horizontal rectangular enclosures heated from the different sides and the influence of aspect ratio of the rectangle are carefully studied. The enthalpy porosity technique and the finite volume method (FVM) are used to simulate the melting process numerically. The results show that the melting process of PCM can be dominated by conduction or natural convection due to the different heated sides. The melting of PCM in the enclosure heated from the bottom side is firstly affected by conduction and then mostly influenced by convection. In addition, the aspect ratio of the rectangular enclosure is found to play an important role in the melting process. Finally, a series of fitting correlations of the liquid fraction, Nusselt number and the energy storage are presented with the influence of aspect ratios in order to provide the reference for designing the rectangular container of PCM. This study is helpful for the selection of an appropriate aspect ratio and heating method to achieve the desired energy storage performance of encapsulated PCM. View Full-Text
Keywords: phase change material; rectangular enclosure; aspect ratio; conduction and convection phase change material; rectangular enclosure; aspect ratio; conduction and convection
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Duan, J.; Xiong, Y.; Yang, D. On the Melting Process of the Phase Change Material in Horizontal Rectangular Enclosures. Energies 2019, 12, 3100.

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