SIMULTANEOUS CHARGING AND DISCHARGING OF A LATENT HEAT ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM FOR USE WITH SOLAR DOMESTIC HOT WATER
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Sensible energy storage for solar domestic hot water (SDHW) systems is space consuming and heavy. Latent heat energy storage systems (LHESSs) offer a solution to this problem. However, the functionality of a LHESS during simultaneous charging/discharging, an operating mode encountered when used with a SDHW, had not been studied experimentally. A small scale vertical cylindrical LHESS, with dodecanoic acid as the phase change material (PCM), was studied during separate and simultaneous charging/discharging. Natural convection was found to have a strong influence during melting, but not during solidification. During simultaneous operation heat transfer was limited by the high thermal resistance of the solid PCM. However, when the PCM was melted, direct heat transfer occurred between the hot and cold heat transfer fluids, indicating the significance of the PCM phase on heat transfer in the system. The results of this research will lead to more optimally designed LHESS for use with SDHW. ?