Research Papers

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

[+] Author and Article Information
H. Ezzat Khalifa

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

Mustafa Koz

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Syracuse University,
462H Link Hall,
Syracuse, NY 13244
e-mail: mkoz100@syr.edu

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received January 18, 2018; final manuscript received June 27, 2018; published online August 20, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Amir Jokar.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 10(6), 061008 (Aug 20, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: TSEA-18-1029; doi: 10.1115/1.4040697 History: Received January 18, 2018; Revised June 27, 2018

This study analyzes phase change material (PCM) freezing process in a novel latent heat storage device (LHSD). Heat is removed from the PCM with an embedded evaporator. A mathematical model of freezing in a finite-thickness PCM slab is presented. An experimentally validated reduced-order model (ROM) based on the mathematical model was developed to analyze the heat transfer between the freezing PCM and an evaporating refrigerant flowing inside a flat, microchannel tube coil embedded in the PCM. A detailed finite element model (FEM) of the same device was also developed and employed to verify the validity of the ROM over a wider range of conditions. The freezing times and total “cooling” stored in the PCM computed by the ROM agree very well with those computed by the detailed FEM. The ROM executes in ∼1 min for a full heat exchanger, compared with more than 10 h for the FEM, making the former much more practical for use in parametric analysis and optimization of design alternatives.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of a VCS with evaporator embedded in a PCM

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Fig. 2

Typical configuration of PCM/evaporator showing embedded microchannel evaporator tubes and air channels between the PCM enclosures (black slots) [11]. (Dimensions are in mm).

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Fig. 3

Module cross section (not to scale)

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the geometry used in the mathematical model

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Fig. 5

First significant eigenvalue for solid phase

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Fig. 6

Coefficient C2s corresponding to first significant eigenvalue for θf=0.1

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Fig. 7

Example of model results for the typical data in Table 1

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Fig. 8

Temperature profiles in the liquid and solid phases for Bi = 20

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Fig. 9

Comparison of average frozen PCM thicknesses with and without plastic casing

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Fig. 10

Experimentally obtained time-dependent freezing profile

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Fig. 11

Experimental and ROM frozen PCM thicknesses comparison (Std. Dev. ∼6%)

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Fig. 12

Reduced-order model and FEM frozen PCM thickness comparison (Std. Dev. ∼1%)

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Fig. 13

Cooling rate and stored cooling predictions by ROM (lines) and FEM (markers)

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Fig. 14

Progression of refrigerant evaporation front by ROM (lines) and FEM (markers)



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