Experimental set up for the investigation of partial phase changes of phase change materials
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Thermal energy storage with phase change materials (PCMs) has attracted a lot of attention in the last several decades. Most PCMs do not change phase at a constant temperature but rather in a certain temperature range. It means that the PCM need to transit through its phase change temperature range to fully change phase from the solid state to the liquid state and vice-versa. The situation, in which the phase transition begins and/or ends within the phase change temperature range (in the mushy zone), is usually called a partial phase transition (or a partial phase change). The partial phase transitions occur quite often in real-life thermal energy storage systems with PCMs; especially when a PCM has a wide phase change temperature range. The behavior of PCMs during the partial phase transitions is poorly understood at the moment, because the experimental techniques used for the characterization of PCMs (such as the differential scanning calorimetry – DSC) are difficult to apply for the study of partial phase transitions. The lack of knowledge in this area influences the accuracy of phase change simulation models. The main goal of the experimental investigations, described in the paper, was to obtain data for the development of a simulation model for partial phase changes. The experimental set up for the investigation of partial phase changes of PCMs has been proposed, assembled, and the pilot measurements have been conducted. The experimental set up consists of two water storage tanks (that can be maintained at different water temperatures), a water-PCM concentric tube type heat exchanger and a data acquisition system. The water flows through the central tube of the heat exchanger while the PCM is located in the annular space of the exchanger. The water storage tanks, maintained at the temperatures within the phase change temperature range of a PCM, allow for the investigations of the heat storage cycles consisting of partial phase changes.
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceEPJ Web of Conferences. 2022, vol. 264, issue 1, p. 234-237.