Thermal storage system (TES) with phase change material (PCM) is an important device to store thermal energy. It works as a thermal buffer to reconcile the supply energy with the energy demand. It has a wide application field, especially for solar thermal energy storage. The main drawback is the low value of thermal conductivity of the PCM making the system useless for thermal engineering applications. A way to resolve this problem is to combine the PCM with a highly conductive material like metal foam and/or nanoparticles. In this paper a numerical investigation on the metal foam effects in a latent heat thermal energy storage system, based on a phase change material with nanoparticles (nano-PCM), is accomplished. The modelled TES is a typical 70 L water tank filled with nano-PCM with pipes to transfer thermal energy from a fluid to the nano-PCM. The PCM is a pure paraffin wax and the nanoparticles are in aluminum oxide. The metal foam is made of aluminum with assigned values of porosity. The enthalpy-porosity theory is employed to simulate the phase change of the nano-PCM and the metal foam is modelled as a porous media. Numerical simulations are carried out using the Ansys Fluent code. The results are shown in terms of melting time, temperature at varying of time, and total amount of stored energy.
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