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Research Papers

Phase Change Material Melting in an Energy Storage Module for a Micro Environmental Control System

[+] Author and Article Information
Mustafa Koz

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Syracuse University,
62H Link Hall,
Syracuse, NY, 13244
e-mail: mkoz100@syr.edu

H. Ezzat Khalifa

Fellow ASME
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Syracuse University,
462G Link Hall,
Syracuse, NY, 13244,
e-mail: hekhalif@syr.edu

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received February 27, 2018; final manuscript received June 27, 2018; published online August 20, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Samuel Sami.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 10(6), 061010 (Aug 20, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-18-1107; doi: 10.1115/1.4040896 History: Received February 27, 2018; Revised June 27, 2018

An experimentally validated finite element model (FEM) was developed to analyze the design parameters of a latent heat storage device (LHSD) for a micro environmental control system (μX). The μX provides local cooling to an office worker in a room whose thermostat setpoint has been elevated from 23.9 °C (75 °F) to 26.1 °C (79 °F) in order to reduce heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) energy consumption. For this application, the LHSD is designed to provide ≥50 W of cooling for a full, 8.5 h workday to restore thermal comfort in the warm, 26.1 °C room. The LHSD comprises several parallel slabs of encased phase change material (PCM) with interposed airflow channels. The airflow rate is selected to obtain ≥50 W of cooling at the end of the 8.5 h operation. The LHSD exhibits a decreasing cooling rate over the 8.5 h period when a constant airflow is passed through it, indicating that more cooling is supplied during the day than the minimum 50 W required for thermal comfort. The parametric analysis explores the effects of PCM thermal conductivity, slab thickness, air channel width, and number of slabs on LHSD performance. Parametric cases are compared against each other on the basis of their required PCM mass and energy consumption.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Isometric view of the LHSD showing embedded microchannel tubes used for freezing

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Fig. 2

Frontal and cross-sectional details of the LHSD geometry (not to scale)

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Fig. 3

Top view of the LHSD (not to scale): Air channels between and outside the slabs

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Fig. 4

Comparison of experimental and numerical cooling rates. Dotted lines correspond to ±7.5% uncertainty of the PCM storage capacity [24].

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Fig. 5

Comparison of experimental and numerical cooling rates. Dotted lines correspond to ±15% deviation.

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Fig. 6

Melting of a 26-mm-thick PCM slab with warm air (Bi = 1.0)

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Fig. 7

Comparison of FEM and ROM for a typical melting case

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Fig. 8

Effect of physics incorporated by the FEM

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Fig. 9

Effect of inclusion of various physical phenomena on the melting progress at the sixth hour (Not to scale). White regions are solid PCM (cooler than 18 °C).

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Fig. 10

Melting progress in the baseline configuration (case 1) is shown via temperature map of a representative slab (Not to scale). White regions are solid PCM (cooler than 18 °C).

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Fig. 11

Minimum required PCM mass to deliver 50 W of cooling at 8.5 h. (Baseline: kp = 0.2 W/m-K, δp = 26 mm, wa,i = 6 mm, and nsl = 4).

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Fig. 12

Optimum airflow to deliver 50 W of cooling at 8.5 h. (Baseline: kp = 0.2 W/m-K, δp = 26 mm, wa,i = 6 mm, and nsl = 4).

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Fig. 13

Electric consumption by VCS and fans for refreezing PCM and moving the airflow to deliver 50 W of cooling at 8.5 h. (Baseline: kp = 0.2 W/m-K, δp = 26 mm, wa,i = 6 mm, and nsl = 4).

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