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Technical Brief

A Dimensionless Model for Transient Turbulent Natural Convection in Isochoric Vertical Thermal Energy Storage Tubes

[+] Author and Article Information
Reza Baghaei Lakeh

Mechanical Engineering Department,
California State Polytechnic University Pomona,
3801 W Temple Avenue,
Pomona, CA 91768
e-mail: rblakeh@cpp.edu

Richard E. Wirz

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department,
University of California Los Angeles,
420 Westwood Plaza,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: wirz@ucla.edu

Pirouz Kavehpour

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department,
University of California Los Angeles,
420 Westwood Plaza,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: pirouz@seas.ucla.edu

Adrienne S. Lavine

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department,
University of California Los Angeles,
420 Westwood Plaza,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: lavine@ucla.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received October 14, 2016; final manuscript received October 19, 2017; published online January 23, 2018. Assoc. Editor: W. J. Marner.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 10(3), 034501 (Jan 23, 2018) (5 pages) Paper No: TSEA-16-1292; doi: 10.1115/1.4038587 History: Received October 14, 2016; Revised October 19, 2017

In this study, turbulent natural convection heat transfer during the charge cycle of an isochoric vertically oriented thermal energy storage (TES) tube is studied computationally and analytically. The storage fluids considered in this study (supercritical CO2 and liquid toluene) cover a wide range of Rayleigh numbers. The volume of the storage tube is constant and the thermal storage happens in an isochoric process. A computational model was utilized to study turbulent natural convection during the charge cycle. The computational results were further utilized to develop a conceptual and dimensionless model that views the thermal storage process as a hot boundary layer that rises along the tube wall and falls in the center to replace the cold fluid in the core. The dimensionless model predicts that the dimensionless mean temperature of the storage fluid and average Nusselt number of natural convection are functions of L/D ratio, Rayleigh number, and Fourier number that are combined to form a buoyancy-Fourier number.

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References

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Schematic of the natural convection boundary layer and different regions of the storage tube during charge cycle

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Variation of dimensionless mean temperature of the storage fluid during charge cycle for supercritical CO2 and (b) variation of dimensionless mean temperature of the storage fluid during charge cycle for toluene

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

(a) Variation of Nusselt number during charge cycle for supercritical CO2 and (b) variation of Nusselt number during charge cycle for toluene

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Validation of the computational model with reproducing the experimental data reported in Ref. [12] for a similar configuration of parameters

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Fig. 5

Variation of dimensionless mean temperature of the storage fluid as a function of BF number for supercritical CO2 and toluene. The results of each storage tube collapse on a single curve.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Variation of Nusselt number as a function of BF number for supercritical CO2 and toluene. The results of each storage tube collapse on a single curve.

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