PHASE CHANGE BEHAVIOUR OF LAURIC ACID IN A HORIZONTAL CYLINDRICAL LATENT HEAT ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM
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This work presents an experimental and numerical study of phase change behaviour in a horizontal cylindrical latent heat energy storage system (LHESS). Fins with two orientations, straight fins and angled fins, are added into the PCM to enhance heat transfer. The PCM used in this study is lauric acid which has desirable thermal properties for LHESS. The experimental work concentrates on studying the heat transfer mechanism during phase change, impacts of the HTF inlet temperature and HTF flow rates. Moreover, heat transfer enhancement effectiveness of straight fins and angles fins is compared. Numerical model is simulated using COMSOL Multiphysics software package. It is observed that conduction is the dominant heat transfer mechanism during the initial stage of charging, and natural convection plays a more important role afterwards. Conduction plays a major role during solidification. Complete melting time is affected by the HTF inlet temperature and HTF flow rates.