Enhancing thermal performance in shell-and-tube latent heat thermal energy storage units: An experimental and numerical study of shell geometry effects

Nazila Parsa, Babak Kamkari, Hossein Abolghasemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates the influence of shell geometry on the thermal performance of latent heat storage (LHS) units. Three transparent shell-and-tube LHS units, featuring circular, horizontal, and vertical obround shell geometries, each possessing a similar shell volume, were fabricated and filled with paraffin as the phase change material (PCM). Employing a combination of visualization experiments and numerical simulations, the thermal performance of LHS units with horizontally and vertically oriented obround shell geometries was comprehensively analyzed and compared with conventional circular shell-and-tube heat exchangers (HX), commonly utilized in the industry. Data derived from image processing of photographs, coupled with recorded temperatures, were used to calculate liquid fractions, analyze heat transfer characteristics, and ascertain the dominant heat transfer mechanisms during the melting process. The results reveal that the utilization of a horizontal obround shell enhances the heat transfer rate, thereby expediting the melting process. A comparative analysis of melting photographs demonstrates that the horizontal obround shell reduces the melting time by 32% compared to the circular shell, while the vertical obround shell extends the total melting time by 13%. In contrast to the circular shell, the horizontal obround shell exhibits a substantial improvement of 41% in the time-averaged heat transfer rate, whereas the vertical obround shell shows a decrease of 12%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer
Volume154
Early online date19 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors

Data Access Statement

Data will be made available on request

Keywords

  • Latent heat storage (LHS)
  • Natural convection
  • Phase change material (PCM)
  • Shell geometry

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