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Renewable Energy 32 (2007) 1206–1227 www.elsevier.com/locate/renene

Experimental investigation on a combined sensible and latent heat storage system integrated with constant/varying (solar) heat sources
N. Nallusamya, S. Sampatha, R. Velrajb,Ã
a

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Pennalur, Sriperumbudur—602 105, Tamil Nadu, India b Institute for Energy Studies, CEG, Anna University, Chennai—600 025, India Received 20 October 2005; accepted 28 April 2006 Available online 27 June 2006

Abstract The objective of the present work is to investigate experimentally the thermal behavior of a packed bed of combined sensible and latent heat thermal energy storage (TES) unit. A TES unit is designed, constructed and integrated with constant temperature bath/solar collector to study the performance of the storage unit. The TES unit contains paraffin as phase change material (PCM) filled in spherical capsules, which are packed in an insulated cylindrical storage tank. The water used as heat transfer fluid (HTF) to transfer heat from the constant temperature bath/solar collector to the TES tank also acts as sensible heat storage (SHS) material. Charging experiments are carried out at constant and varying (solar energy) inlet fluid temperatures to examine the effects of inlet fluid temperature and flow rate of HTF on the performance of the storage unit. Discharging experiments are carried out by both continuous and batchwise processes to recover the stored heat. The significance of time wise variation of HTF and PCM temperatures during charging and discharging processes is discussed in detail and the performance parameters such as instantaneous heat stored and cumulative heat stored are also studied. The performance of the present system is compared with that of the conventional SHS system. It is found from the discharging experiments that the combined storage system employing batchwise discharging of hot water from the TES tank is best suited for applications where the requirement is intermittent. r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Thermal energy storage; Hot water storage; PCM storage; Solar water heater; Sensible heat; Latent heat

ÃCorresponding author. Tel.: +91 44 22203008/22203269; fax: +91 44 22300916.

E-mail address: velrajr@annauniv.edu (R. Velraj). 0960-1481/$ - see front matter r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2006.04.015

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Nomenclature L length of the TES (storage) tank (mm) x axial distance from the top of the TES tank (mm) x/L dimensionless axial distance from the top of the TES tank Tfi inlet temperature of HTF (water) (1C) Tfo outlet temperature of HTF (water) (1C) Tpi initial temperature of PCM (1C) Tf1, Tf2, Tf3, and Tf4 HTF temperatures at four segments of the storage tank (1C) Tp1, Tp2, Tp3, and Tp4 PCM temperatures at four segments of the storage tank (1C)

1. Introduction Effective utilization of time-dependent energy resources relies on appropriate energy storage methods to reduce the time and rate mismatch between supply and demand. Thermal energy storages (TESs) provide a high degree of flexibility since a variety of energy sources such as solar heat, industrial waste heat, heat pumps and off-peak electricity can be utilized, either combined or separately. In particular, solar energy applications require a large energy storage capacity in order to cover a minimum of 1–2 days demand, as the solar radiation is a time-dependent energy source with an intermittent character. Basically, there are three methods of storing thermal energy: sensible, latent and thermo-chemical heat storages. Although the sensible heat storage (SHS) system is simple and a well-developed technology, this type of storage is the least efficient method for energy storage because of low heat storage capacity per unit volume of the storage medium. Latent heat storage (LHS) systems using phase change material (PCM) as storage medium offer advantages such as high heat storage capacity, small unit sizes and isothermal behavior during charging and discharging processes. But these types of systems are not in commercial use as much as SHS systems because of the poor heat transfer rate during heat storage and recovery processes. The main reason is that during phase change, the solid–liquid interface moves away from the convective heat transfer surface (during charging in cool storage process and discharging in hot storage process) due to which the thermal resistance of the growing layer of solidified PCM increases, thereby resulting in poor heat transfer rate. The combined sensible and LHS system eliminates the difficulties experienced in the SHS and LHS systems to some extent and posses the advantages of both the systems. A lot of research work is reported on SHS materials and TES systems in the past and the technology for their utilization is also well developed. Beasley and Clark [1] have provided an excellent review of such efforts in the case of SHS systems. LHS systems have received considerable attention in the past two decades only. Several investigators have studied, theoretically and experimentally the performance of TES employing PCM in a variety of geometries. Saitoh and Hirose [2] performed theoretical and experimental investigation of the transient thermal characteristics of a LHS unit using spherical capsules. The effects of variation in the capsule diameter, the flow rate of the heat transfer fluid (HTF), the inlet temperature difference, the capsule material and the PCM on the performance of this storage unit were studied in detail using computer simulation and compared with the

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experimental results of a prototype LHS unit with a capacity of 300 l. Ananthanarayanan et al. [3] developed a computer model based on two-phase Schumann model for the estimation of temperature profiles of the solid and the fluid along the length of the packed bed of encapsulated Al–Si PCM shots as functions of distance along the bed and time during a series of heat storage and utilization cycles. Air was used as HTF in their study. Beasley and Ramanarayanan [4] developed a computational model to study the transient thermal response of a packed bed of spheres containing a PCM using one-dimensional separate phases formulation. Results from the model were compared with the experimental results of a commercial size thermal storage bed packed with polypropylene spheres containing paraffin for both the energy storage and recovery periods using air as working fluid. Chen and Yue [5] developed a one-dimensional porous-medium model to determine the thermal characteristics of ice-water cool storage in packed capsules for air conditioning. Comparison of this theory with experimental data of temperature profiles of PCM (water) and coolant (alcohol) for various porosities, flow rates and different inlet coolant temperatures show good agreements. Sozen et al. [6] investigated the TES characteristics of a SHS and LHS packed bed consisting of a horizontal channel filled with randomly packed particles of PCM encapsulated spherical capsules. The energy transporting fluid was refrigerant-12, which was modeled as an ideal gas. The SHS material used was 1% carbonsteel and PCM was myristic acid. The investigations showed distinctly different energy storage characteristics for these two kinds of packed beds. Bansal and Buddhi [7] developed a mathematical model for a solar collector cum storage system for quasi-steadystate conditions using PCMs (stearic acid). Numerical calculations have been performed using modified Hottel–Whiller–Bliss equations for a wide range of parameters to investigate the applicability of the developed model. The calculations clearly show that a PCM collector cum storage system has definite advantages over a system that has a separate collection and a separate storage unit. Watanabe et al. [8] developed a numerical model for prediction of the transient behavior of the LHS module. The model is onedimensional with a finite overall heat transfer coefficient between the PCM and the HTF. They conducted the experiments on the heat storage module consisting of PCM (paraffin) with different melting temperatures using water as HTF. Both the experimental and numerical results showed some improvements in charging and discharging rates by the use of multiple PCMs with different melting temperatures. Velraj and Seeniraj [9] presented a numerical study on the solidification of PCM inside a vertical internally finned tubes and proposed a two-dimensional model based on the enthalpy formulation. They recommended that for a given quantity of heat to be extracted, the PCM, HTF and flow parameters are to be selected in such a way to attain a combination of lower Biot number and higher Stefan number (within the practical range) for the uniform extraction of heat. Dincer [10] conducted a feasibility study on the selection, evaluation, implementation and operation of a TES system for solar thermal applications. Several issues relating to energy storage were examined from the current perspective. In addition, some criteria, techniques, recommendations, checklists on the selection, implementation and operation of energy storage systems are provided for the use of energy engineers, scientists and policy makers. Cho and Choi [11] investigated the thermal characteristics of paraffin in a spherical capsule during freezing and melting processes. Experiments were performed with paraffin, i.e. n-tetradecane, and a mixture of n-tetradecane (40%) and n-hexadecane (60%) and water. This study shows that the average heat transfer coefficients were affected by the

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inlet temperature and Reynolds number more during the melting process than during freezing process due to a free convection effect during the melting process. Sari and Kamil [12] have studied experimentally the thermal performance and phase change stability of stearic acid as a LHS material in a vertical cylindrical container. Parameters such as transition times, temperature range and propagation of the solid–liquid interface as well as the effect of the heat flow rate on the phase change stability of stearic acid were studied. Ismail and Henriquez [13] presented a numerical model to simulate the process of heat transfer (charging and discharging) in a LHS system of packed bed of spherical capsules filled with PCM (water). The effects of working fluid (ethylene glycol) entry temperature, the mass flow rate and material of the spherical capsule on the performance of the storage unit were investigated both numerically and experimentally. Eames and Adref [14] presented the experimental results of the charge and discharge rates and the time required to melt and freeze a spherical ice storage element. The results of this investigation are useful in modeling the dynamic behavior of thermal (ice) storage system using spherical elements. Nallusamy et al. [15] made the detailed study on building air conditioning system with PCM-based packed bed storage system installed in Tidel Park, Chennai. The modes of operation, advantages of such a system for energy management and suitability of this concept for other applications were highlighted in their paper. Nallusamy et al. [16] developed a one-dimensional computational model using porous medium approach for predicting the thermal behavior of a packed bed of encapsulated PCM in spherical capsules. Results have been obtained for the case where the phase-change material is paraffin and the HTF is water. The variation of the dimensionless temperatures of the HTF and the PCM, the molten fraction of the solid during the phase change process and instantaneous heat stored, with dimensionless time, for different values of porosity, Stefan number and Stanton number have been studied. Subramanian et al. [17] conducted the performance study on a combined sensible and LHS system employing I.C. Engine exhaust waste heat recovery. The performance parameters like heat extraction rate, charging rate and charging efficiency were analyzed and they highlighted the various applications of this system in the automobile vehicles and stationary engines. It is understood from the literature survey that most of the research work on TES is concerned with either SHS systems or LHS systems only and not much work has been reported on combined sensible and LHS systems. The objective of the present work is to predict the thermal behavior of a packed bed of combined sensible and latent heat TES system integrated with constant temperature water bath/solar flat plate collector. The packed bed contains encapsulated PCM in spherical capsules, which are surrounded by SHS material. Experiments are performed to examine the effects of inlet fluid temperature and flow rates on the performance of the TES unit for both constant and varying HTF inlet temperatures. The performance of the present system during discharging process is also compared with the conventional SHS system. 2. Experimental investigation 2.1. Experimental setup A schematic diagram of the experimental setup is shown in Fig. 1. This consists of an insulated cylindrical TES tank which contains PCM encapsulated spherical capsules, hot

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Tfi 9 8 L x TP1 Tf1 10 11 TP4 T f4 Tfo 4 1 6 3 2 5 7

5

Fig. 1. Schematic of experimental setup: (1) solar flat plate collector (varying heat source); (2) constant temperature bath; (3) electric heater; (4) stirrer; (5) pump; (6 and 7) flow control valves; 8. flow meter; (9) TES tank; (10) PCM capsules; (11) temperature indicator; TP and Tf—temperature sensors (RTDs).

water bath fitted with electric heaters and thermostat/solar flat plate collector, flow meter and circulating pump. A photographic view of the experimental setup integrated with solar flat plate collector is shown in Fig. 2. The stainless-steel TES tank has a capacity of 47 l (360 mm diameter and 460 mm height) to supply hot water for a family of 5–6 persons. There are two plenum chambers on the top and the bottom of the tank and a flow distributor is provided on the top of the tank to make uniform flow of HTF. The storage tank is insulated with glass wool of 50 mm thick. The outer diameter of spherical capsule is 55 mm and it is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with a wall thickness of 0.8 mm. The total number of capsules in the TES tank is 264 and the spherical capsules are uniformly packed in eight layers and each layer is supported by wire mesh. The PCM capsules occupy the 50% of the total volume of storage tank and the remaining volume is occupied by SHS material. The paraffin is used as PCM that has a melting temperature of 6071 1C and water is used as both SHS material and HTF. The thermo-physical properties of paraffin are given in Table 1 and the specifications and heat storage capacity of the storage tank are given in Table 2. An insulated stainless-steel tank of 70 l capacity is used as the constant temperature water bath and it is fitted with three electric heaters of varying capacities of 1, 2 and 3 kW with thermostat control to maintain the constant temperature in the bath. A flow meter with an accuracy of 72% is used to measure the flow rate of HTF and a centrifugal pump is employed to circulate the HTF through the storage tank. The TES tank is divided into four segments along its axial direction and the RTDs with an accuracy of 70.3 1C are placed at the inlet, outlet and four segments of the TES tank to measure the temperatures of HTF. Another four numbers of RTDs are inserted into the PCM capsules and they are

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Fig. 2. Photographic view of experimental setup (TES tank integrated with varying inlet heat source solar flat plate collector). Table 1 Thermo physical properties of PCM (paraffin) Melting temperature (1C) 60 Latent heat of fusion kJ/kg Density (kg/m3) Specific heat (J/kg 1C) Thermal conductivity (W/m 1C) Solid 0.4 Liquid 0.15

Solid 213 861

Liquid 778

Solid 1850

Liquid 2384

placed at four segments of the TES tank to measure the temperatures of PCM. The position and number of RTDs are also designated in Fig. 1. The RTDs are connected to a temperature indicator, which provides instantaneous digital outputs. 2.2. Experimental trial The experiments are carried out for two different methods of charging process by integrating the TES tank with constant/varying inlet heat sources. In the first method, the

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1212 N. Nallusamy et al. / Renewable Energy 32 (2007) 1206–1227 Table 2 Specifications and heat storage capacity of the TES tank 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Volume of the storage tank for diameter ¼ 360 mm and length ¼ 460 mm 0.047 m3 No. of spherical capsules of 55 mm diameter 264 Volume of PCM in the spherical capsules 0.023 m3 Volume of HTF (water) in the storage tank 0.023 m3 Mass of HDPE spherical capsules 4.0 kg Energy stored in the TES tank when fully charged (above 32 1C) at average temperatures of PCM ¼ 70 1C and HTF ¼ 70 1C (i) Energy stored in PCM 6.90 MJ (ii) Energy available in the HTF 3.40 MJ (iii) Energy content of spherical capsules 0.38 MJ

TES tank is integrated with constant temperature water bath (constant inlet heat source) and the HTF inlet temperature (Tfi) is kept constant for a particular flow rate. The temperature of the water bath is continuously monitored. The key experimental parameters are HTF inlet temperature and its flow rate. Experiments are conducted at various HTF inlet temperatures of 66, 68 and 70 1C and various flow rates of 2, 4 and 6 l/min during charging process. In the second method, the TES tank is connected with an active solar flat plate collector of 2 m2 area (varying inlet heat source). Several experiments are conducted with different flow rates of HTF and in this method the HTF inlet temperature varies in accordance with the solar insolation. For both the cases, PCM capsules in the TES tank are surrounded by water. During the charging process (storing of heat energy) the HTF is circulated through the TES tank continuously. The HTF exchanges its energy to PCM capsules and at the beginning of the charging process, the temperature of the PCM (Tpi) inside the packed bed capsules is 32 1C, which is lower than the melting temperature. Initially the energy is stored inside the capsules as sensible heat until the PCM reaches its melting temperature. As the charging process proceeds, energy storage is achieved by melting the PCM at a constant temperature. Finally, the PCM becomes superheated. The energy is then stored as sensible heat in liquid PCM. Temperatures of the PCM and HTF at different locations of the TES tank as shown in Fig. 1 are recorded at an interval of 5 min. The charging process is continued until the thermal equilibrium is attained between HTF and PCM temperatures. The discharging process (the energy retrieval) experiments are carried out in two methods. In the first method referred to as a continuous process, the cold water at a temperature of 32 1C is circulated continuously through the TES tank to recover the stored heat energy. In the second method referred to as a batchwise process, a certain quantity of hot water is withdrawn from TES tank and mixed with cold water at 32 1C to get the required hot water of 20 l at an average temperature of 4570.5 1C for direct use and the tank is again filled with cold water of quantity equal to the amount of water withdrawn. Again after a time interval of 10 min allowing transfer of energy from PCM another batch of hot water is withdrawn and mixed with cold water to get 20 l of hot water at 4570.5 1C. This process is continued until the PCM temperature reaches 45 1C.

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3. Results and discussion The temperature distributions of HTF (water in the TES tank that acts as a SHS material) and PCM in the TES tank for various inlet fluid temperatures and mass flow rates are reported during charging and discharging processes. The instantaneous heat stored and the cumulative heat stored during the charging process are studied in detail. 3.1. Charging process 3.1.1. Temperature histories of HTF and PCM The temperature histories of HTF and PCM at four segments of the TES tank that is at x=L ¼ 0:25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1.0 are shown in Figs. 3–8 for both constant and varying inlet temperatures of HTF. Fig. 3 represents the temperature variation of HTF inside the storage tank at constant inlet temperature (Tfi) of 70 1C for a mass flow rate of 2 l/min. It is observed from the figure that the temperature of the HTF at all the segments increases at a faster rate until it reaches the melting temperature of PCM. However, the rise in temperature of HTF in the first segment is very fast as the hot water enters at the top of the storage tank. For this segment, the temperature increases up to 67 1C in 30 min and thereafter remains uniform until the PCM melts completely. It is also observed that there is nearly constant temperature difference between the segments from top to bottom of the storage tank throughout the period of melting. The temperature of the second segment attains the temperature of the
80 75 70 65 HTF Temperature (°C) 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 0 20 40 60 80 100 Time (min) 120 140 160 180 constant Tfi (70 °C); mass flow rate = 2 l/min x/L = 0.25 x/L = 0.50 x/L = 0.75 x/L = 1.00

Fig. 3. Temperature histories of HTF during charging process.

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80 75 70 65 HTF Temperature (°C) 60 55 mass flow rate = 2 l/min 50 45 40 35 30 0 20 40 60 80 100 Time (min) 120 140 160 180 constant Tfi (70 °C); x/L = 50.0 mass flow rate = 4 l/min mass flow rate = 6 l/min

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Fig. 4. Temperature histories of HTF during charging process.

80 75 70 65 PCM Temperature (°C) 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 0 20 40 60 80 100 Time (min) 120 140 160 180 constant Tfi (70 °C); mass flow rate = 2 l/min)

x/L = 0.25 x/L = 0.50 x/L = 0.75 x/L = 1.00

Fig. 5. Temperature histories of PCM during charging process.

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75 70 65 60 Temperature (°C) 55 50 45 40 35 massflow rate = 2 l/min; x/L = 0.50 30 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Time (min) 180 200 220 240 260 HTF , Tfi = 70 degree celsius HTF , Tfi = 66 degree celsius PCM , Tfi = 70 degree celsius PCM , Tfi = 66 degree celsius

1215

Fig. 6. Temperature histories of HTF and PCM during charging process.

80 75 70 65 HTF Temperature (°C) 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Time (min) 180 200 220 240 260 varying Tfi ; mass flow rate = 2 l/min x/L = 0.25 x/L = 0.50 x/L = 0.75 x/L = 1.00

Fig. 7. Temperature histories of HTF during charging process (TES tank integrated with solar collector).

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N. Nallusamy et al. / Renewable Energy 32 (2007) 1206–1227

x/L = 0.25 x/L = 0.50 x/L = 0.75 x/L = 1.00

Fig. 8. Temperature histories of PCM during charging process (TES tank integrated with solar collector).

first segment only after the melting process is completed in the first segment. The same trend is observed in the successive segments. This is due to the fact that after the complete melting of the PCM in the first segment, the rate of heat absorbed in the first segment decreases as the local temperature difference between the inlet fluid and PCM in the first segment decreases. Hence the heat transfer in the second segment increases and the temperature also increases. The similar trend is observed in HTF temperature profiles for various mass flow rates as shown in Fig. 4 for the second segment (x=L ¼ 0:5). Fig. 5 represents the temperature variation of PCM at constant inlet fluid temperature (Tfi) of 70 1C for a mass flow rate of 2 l/min. It is seen from the figure that the PCM temperature increases gradually at the beginning of the charging period and remains nearly constant during melting process and increases rapidly during heating of liquid PCM. Also it is noted from the figure that the PCM in the first segment is completely charged within 60% of the total charging time. Fig. 6 shows the variation of both HTF and PCM temperatures at segment 2. The instantaneous amount of heat transfer to the PCM depends on the temperature difference prevailing between HTF and PCM at a given time. During the sensible heating of solid PCM, the temperature of both HTF and PCM increases at a faster rate and the temperature difference between them also increases continuously until the PCM reaches its melting temperature i.e. 6071 1C. The increase in temperature is higher in water than the PCM, as more quantity of heat is absorbed by the water than it gives its heat to the PCM. This is due to the higher resistance offered by the solid PCM for heat flow. When PCM starts melting, the HTF temperature increases further to a certain extent. This increases the temperature difference between HTF and PCM and hence the heat flow rate between them

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is also increased. A stage is reached when the entire heat in the HTF is transferred to PCM by convection. Hence, beyond this stage, HTF temperature also remains constant i.e. after a time period of 75 min in case of Tfi ¼ 66 1C and 35 min in case of Tfi ¼ 70 1C as observed from the figure. The HTF temperature further increases after the melting of PCM is completed. Figs. 7 and 8 show the temperature histories of HTF and PCM during charging process when the storage tank is connected to a solar flat plate collector. The inlet temperature of HTF from the solar collector increases continuously with time at a uniform rate till the PCM in the storage tank attain the phase change temperature. It is also observed from both the figures that there is no significant temperature difference between each segment during the sensible heating of the solid PCM as in constant Tfi case. The reason is that the water temperature in the storage tank increases gradually in accordance with inlet temperature of HTF supplied from the solar collector and the PCM temperature also increases gradually along with HTF temperature. Hence, the temperature difference between HTF and PCM in any segment of the storage tank is small during the sensible heating of the solid PCM and also during phase change period. Further, it is noted that the time required for charging the storage tank is more when compared with constant inlet fluid temperature case. From the temperature histories, it can be inferred that in the present system, the heat transfer rate possible from the HTF to the PCM in the storage tank is higher than the heat-receiving rate of HTF from the solar collector. Hence, it is possible to reduce the charging time further by increasing the solar collector surface area. 3.1.2. Effect of inlet fluid temperature Figs. 9 and 10 show the effect of variation of HTF inlet temperature on the charging time for the flow rates of 2 and 6 l/min, respectively. It is observed that the time required for complete charging is decreased as the inlet temperature is increased. As the inlet fluid temperature is increased from 66 to 70 1C, the time required for complete charging of storage tank is reduced by 40% for both the flow rates of 2 and 6 l/min. In the case of varying Tfi as the HTF inlet temperature is low at the beginning and it increases slowly with time, the charging time is more when compared to constant Tfi case and it is around 240 min for the flow rate of 2 l/min and 215 min for the flow rate of 6 l/m on sunny days. This time is 22% and 111% higher when compared to the inlet fluid temperatures of 66 and 70 1C, respectively, for a flow rate of 2 l/min and it is 33 and 125% higher when compared to the inlet fluid temperatures of 66 and 70 1C, respectively, for a flow rate of 6 l/min. It is also seen from the figures that the increase in inlet temperature does not have much effect on the temperature profile of the PCM during SHS i.e. when the PCM temperatures are lower than the melting temperature, whereas the effect is considerable during the LHS period. 3.1.3. Effect of flow rate of the HTF Figs. 11 and 12 illustrate the effect of varying the mass flow rate of HTF (2, 4 and 6 l/min) during the charging of the storage tank for the cases with Tfi ¼ 66 1C and varying Tfi, respectively. It is seen from the figures that the charging time is decreased by 14%, and 26% for the inlet fluid temperature of 66 1C and varying Tfi, respectively, when the flow rate is increased from 2 to 6 l/min. The experimental HTF flow rates (2–6 l/min) lie in the laminar region and the surface convection heat transfer coefficient between the HTF and PCM capsules is less significant in this laminar region as the major resistance is due to the

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75 70 65 PCM Temperature (οC) 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Time (min) 180 200 220 240 260 Tfi = 66 Degree celsius Tfi = 70 Degree celsius varying Tfi (solar energy)

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x/L = 0.50; mass flow rate = 2l/min

Fig. 9. Effect of HTF inlet temperature on the time required for charging.

75 70 65 PCM Temperature (°C) 60 55 50 45 40 35 x/L = 0.50; mass flow rate = 6 l/min 30 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Time (min) 140 160 180 200 220 Tfi = 66 Degree celsius Tfi = 70 Degree celsius Varying Tfi (solar energy)

Fig. 10. Effect of HTF inlet temperature on the time required for charging.

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70

1219

65

60 PCM Temperature (°C)

55

50 mass flow rate = 2 l/min mass flow rate = 4 l/min mass flow rate = 6 l/min

45

40

35

Tfi = 66 °C; x/L = 0.50

30 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Time (min) 180 200 220 240 260

Fig. 11. Effect of flow rate of HTF on the time required for charging.

75 70 65 PCM Temperature (°C) 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Time (min) 160 180 200 220 240 mass flow rate = 2l/min mass flow rate = 4 l/min mass flow rate = 6l/min

varying Tfi; x/L = 0.50

Fig. 12. Effect of flow rate of HTF on charging time (TES tank integrated with solar collector).

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varying resistance offered inside the PCM capsules. Hence, mass flow rate has only a small effect on the time for charging the storage tank. 3.1.4. Instantaneous heat stored Fig. 13 shows the instantaneous heat stored in the storage tank during the charging process for various mass flow rates of HTF when the storage tank is integrated with solar collector. This is estimated based on the instantaneous inlet and outlet temperatures of the HTF. It is observed that during the initial period of charging the instantaneous heat stored is high and it is decreasing till 50–60 min. This drop in temperature is due to the decrease in temperature difference between the HTF and the temperature of the storage tank. As the charging process proceeds, the PCM starts melting and the heat stored remains almost uniform due to constant temperature difference between the HTF and the storage tank. This is the major advantage of a combined storage system where a uniform rate of charging and discharging is possible for a longer period, which will be useful for many practical applications. 3.1.5. Cumulative heat stored Fig. 14 shows the cumulative heat stored in the storage tank for the case of charging with solar collector. It is seen that the time required for storing 10 MJ is 195, 160 and 140 min for the mass flow rates of 2, 4 and 6 l/min, respectively, at an average charging rates of 0.855, 1.042 and 1.190 kJ/s, respectively. It is observed from the figure that the mass flow rate has significant effect on the average charging rate. This is due to higher heat

4000

3000 Instantaneous heat stored (W)

2000

mass flow rate = 2 l/min mass flow rate = 4 l/min mass flow rate = 6 l/min

1000

0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Time (min) 180 200 220 240 260

Fig. 13. Instantaneous heat stored during charging process (TES tank integrated with solar collector-varying Tfi case).

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12

1221

10

Cumulative heat stored (MJ)

8

6

4

2

mass flow rate = 2 l/min mass flow rate = 4 l/min mass flow rate = 6 l/min

0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Time (min) 160 180 200 220 240

Fig. 14. Cumulative heat stored during charging process (TES tank integrated with solar collector-varying Tfi case).

extraction rate from the solar collector as the mass flow rate increases and it is already discussed that the heat transfer rate possible from the HTF to the PCM in the storage tank is higher than the heat-receiving rate of HTF from the solar collector. 3.2. Discharging process The temperature histories of HTF and PCM during discharging process (heat recovery) for both continuous and batchwise discharging methods are reported. A comparative study is made between the conventional SHS system and combined storage system and conclusions based on this study are presented. 3.2.1. Variation of PCM temperatures Figs. 15 and 16 represent the temperature histories of PCM during continuous and batchwise discharging processes respectively. It is seen from both the cases that the temperature drop is large until the PCM reaches its phase transition temperature as the hot water in the storage tank loses its sensible heat due to the mixing of inlet water at a temperature of 32 1C. After that, the temperature drop in the PCM is negligible for a long duration as the PCM releases its latent heat. In the case of continuous discharging process, the PCM temperature is nearly constant for a duration of 25 min, whereas in the case of batchwise method it occurs over a duration of 40 min as the inlet water is supplied

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65 PCM Temperature (°C)

60 x/L = 0.25 x/L = 0.50 x/L = 0.75 x/L = 1.00

55

50

45

40

35 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Time (min) 70 80 90 100

Fig. 15. Temperature histories of PCM during continuous discharging process.

75

70

65 PCM Temperature (°C)

60

55

x/L = 0.25 x/L = 0.50 x/L = 0.75 x/L = 1.00

50

45

40 0 20 40 60 Time (min) 80 100 120

Fig. 16. Temperature histories of PCM during batchwise discharging process.

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intermittently to extract heat from the storage tank. After complete solidification of the PCM, its temperature starts decreasing; however, the rate of temperature drop is not as high as in the beginning of the discharging process. This is due to the low temperature difference between the PCM and HTF inlet temperature though the solid PCM releases its sensible heat. 3.2.2. Variation of HTF temperatures Fig. 17 shows the temperature histories of HTF during continuous and batchwise discharging processes. The rate of heat recovery is large at the beginning of the discharging process and decreases with time because of the change in the thermal resistance of the solidified layer of the PCM and decrease in temperature difference between the solidified PCM and HTF. In the case of continuous discharging process as the HTF outlet temperature decreases continuously with time, this type of process is not suitable for practical applications. In the case of batchwise discharging process, a certain quantity of hot water is withdrawn from the storage tank and mixed with cold water to obtain hot water of 20 l at an average temperature of 45 1C. Then the storage tank is again filled with cold water of quantity equal to the amount of hot water withdrawn. Now the temperature of HTF (water) in the tank increases and after a retention period of 10 min, another batch of hot water is withdrawn and mixed with cold water. The batchwise discharging process is continued until the PCM temperature reaches 45 1C. The variation of temperature of the HTF during retention period is also shown in the graph.

75 x/L = 0.25 , continuous process ( m = 2 l/min ) 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Time (min) 70 80 90 100 110 x/L = 1.00 , continuous process ( m = 2 l/min ) x/L = 0.25 , batchwise process x/L = 1.00 , batchwise process

Fig. 17. Temperature histories of HTF during continuous and batchwise discharging processes.

HTF Temperature (°C)

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1224 N. Nallusamy et al. / Renewable Energy 32 (2007) 1206–1227 Table 3 Experimental data of batch wise discharging process Time (min) Average temperature of PCM (1C) Average temperature of HTF (1C) Batch no. Quantity of hot water withdrawn (l) (a) 7 8.5 10 12 15 20 23 Quantity of cold water added (l) (b) Temperature of 20 l of hot water after mixing (a) and (b) (1C) 45.30 44.80 45.00 44.90 44.80 45.10 42.60

0 2 12 14 24 26 36 38 48 50 60 62 102

70.00 68.58 64.43 63.90 63.55 63.28 62.70 62.25 61.40 60.53 59.10 57.90 44.73

70.50 59.43 62.33 55.58 57.58 51.00 53.43 46.88 49.20 42.78 45.20 36.78 42.63

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

13 11.5 10 8 5 0 0

Table 3 shows the experimental data of batchwise discharging process. It is found that six batches of 20 l of hot water at an average temperature of 45 1C can be obtained in a period of 60 min from the TES tank whose capacity is 47 l that contains 23 l of water and 23 l of paraffin (i.e. 19.80 kg). Another batch of hot water (23 l) at a temperature of 43 1C is also withdrawn after 40 min. The time duration is very high as large quantity of cold water is added during this batch (i.e. 20 l at 32 1C) and the rate of heat extraction from the PCM becomes very slow as the temperature difference between the PCM and HTF is small. The total system approaches an equilibrium temperature of around 43 to 45 1C. 3.2.3. Comparison with SHS system The same storage tank is used as SHS system after unloading the PCM capsules and water is used as both SHS material and HTF. The water in the storage tank is heated to 70 1C. After charging the storage tank, the discharging experiments are carried out by both continuous and batchwise methods. In the continuous discharge method, the cold water (HTF) at 32 1C is circulated through the storage tank at the flow rate of 2 l/min. The heat extraction from the storage tank is continued until the water outlet temperature reaches 35 1C. In the batchwise discharge method, 7 l of hot water at 70 1C is withdrawn and mixed with 13 l of cold water at 32 1C to get 20 l of water at 45 1C. After a time gap of 10 min, again 7 l of hot water is withdrawn and mixed with 13 l of cold water to get 20 l of hot water. Since the tank volume is 47 l, nearly seven batches of hot water is withdrawn and mixed with cold water to obtain 140 l of hot water at an average temperature of 45 1C for the use in residential premises. Fig. 18 represents the temperature histories of HTF during continuous and batchwise discharging processes for both SHS system and combined storage system. In the case of SHS system, batchwise discharging of hot water is advantageous, since the water outlet temperature remains almost constant at 70 1C throughout the process, whereas in the case of continuous discharging process the water outlet temperature decreases continuously

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75 70 65 continuous process (combined system) 60 Temperature (°C) 55 50 45 40 35 30 0 20 40 60 Time (min) 80 100 120 batchwise process (combined system) continuous process (SHS system) batchwise process (SHS system)

1225

Fig. 18. Comparison of HTF outlet temperatures during discharging process from sensible heat storage and combined storage systems.

with time and it is suitable for limited practical applications. As most of the domestic solar water heating systems (SHS) employ the direct mixing of cold water with hot water in the storage tank, they experience the above-mentioned drawback i.e. varying water outlet temperature during discharging process. It is difficult to employ the concept of disconnecting the water flow from the overhead tank to the SHS tank after complete charging and connecting after complete discharging in domestic solar water heating systems installed in the apartments. Hence, by using the combined sensible and LHS concept, the disadvantage of variation in water outlet temperature experienced in the conventional SHS system can be rectified. It is observed from the Fig. 18 that in case of combined storage system, the continuous discharging process (2 l/min) exhibits isothermal behavior around 42–45 1C for a period of 30 min i.e. from 30 to 60 min as shown in the graph. However, it is also seen that in the case of combined storage system, the batchwise process gives better performance than the continuous discharging process as 140 l of hot water at an average temperature of 45 1C is obtained for direct use in the residential premises. After the discharging process, the PCM in the storage tank is still at 45 1C. However, this heat cannot be utilized effectively for direct use. When considering all the above modes of operation of discharging processes, the batchwise discharging process in SHS system gives better performance than the other discharging processes. However, in domestic solar water heating systems, as the HTF is

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directly mixed with the hot water in the storage tank, the combined storage system employing batchwise discharging method is best suited. 4. Conclusions A TES system has been developed for the use of hot water at an average temperature of 45 1C for domestic applications using combined sensible and LHS concept. Charging experiments are conducted on the TES unit to study its performance by integrating it with constant temperature source/varying temperature source (solar energy). The temperature histories of the HTF and PCM during charging process for different inlet fluid temperatures and flow rates are discussed. It is concluded that in the case of constant inlet HTF temperature, the mass flow rate has only a small effect on the rate of charging, as the surface resistance is not significant compared to the varying resistance offered inside the PCM capsules and the rate of heat transfer increases in direct proportion with the increase in inlet temperature of the HTF. In the case of the storage unit integrated with solar flat plate collector, the mass flow rate has significant effect on the heat extraction rate from the collector, which in turn affects the rate of charging of the TES tank. Experiments are conducted for continuous discharging and batchwise discharging for both SHS system and combined storage system. It is concluded that the combined storage system gives better performance than the conventional SHS system where there is a direct mixing of the HTF with the hot water in the storage tank. Acknowledgment The authors acknowledge Dr. R.V. Seeniraj, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, India for the suggestions in the preparation of the manuscript. References
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N. Nallusamy et al. / Renewable Energy 32 (2007) 1206–1227 1227 [10] Dincer I. Evaluation and selection of energy storage systems for solar thermal applications. Int J Energy Res 1999;23:1017–28. [11] Cho K, Choi SH. Thermal characteristics of paraffin in a spherical capsule during freezing and melting processes. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 2000;43:3183–96. [12] Ahmet S, Kamil K. Thermal energy storage system using stearic acid as a phase change material. Sol Energy 2001;71(6):365–76. [13] Ismail KAR, Henriquez JR. Numerical and experimental study of spherical capsules packed bed latent heat storage system. Appl Therm Eng 2002;22:1705–16. [14] Ian WE, Kamel TA. Freezing and melting of water in spherical enclosures of the type used in thermal (ice) storage systems. Appl Therm Eng 2002;22:733–45. [15] Nallusamy N, Sampath S, Velraj R. Energy management through PCM based thermal storage system for building air-conditioning: Tidel Park, Chennai. In: Proceedings of the international symposium on renewable energy: environment protection and energy solution for sustainable development, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 2003. p. 623–31. [16] Nallusamy N, Ramesh R, Velraj R. Numerical investigation of a PCM based energy storage system for heating applications. In: Proceedings of the national conference on recent advances in mechanical engineering, Jabalpur, India, September 2004. p. 94–101. [17] Subramanian SP, Pandiyarajan V, Velraj R. Experimental analysis of a PCM based I.C. Engine exhaust waste heat recovery system. Int Energy J 2004;5(2):81–92.

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