Multi-Scale Transient Modeling of Latent Energy Storage for Asynchronous Cooling

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrea Helmns

Department of Mechanical Engineering University of California Berkeley, California 94709

Van P. Carey

Department of Mechanical Engineering University of California Berkeley, California 94709

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039460 History: Received October 24, 2017; Revised January 25, 2018


This paper establishes a multi-scale design evaluation framework that integrates performance models for a thermal energy storage unit and a subsystem heat exchanger. The modeling facilitates analysis of transient input and extraction processes for the thermal energy storage (TES) device which uses solid-liquid phase change to store thermal energy. We investigate sensible and latent heat transfer through the unit’s matrix structure which contains phase change material (PCM) in the interstitial spacing. The heat transfer is driven by a temperature difference between fluid flow passages and the phase change material matrix which experiences sensible heat transfer until it reaches the phase change material fusion point; then it undergoes melting or solidification in order to receive, or reject, energy. To capture these physics, we establish a dimensionless framework to model heat transfer in the storage device much like effectiveness- NTU analysis methods for compact heat exchangers. Solution of the non-dimensional governing equations is subsequently used to predict the effectiveness of the transient energy input and extraction processes. The TES is examined within the context of a larger subsystem to illustrate how a high efficiency design target can be established for specified operating conditions that correspond to a variety of applications. The general applicability of the model framework is discussed and example performance calculations are presented for enhancement of a Rankine power plant via asynchronous cooling.

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