Paper presented to the 3rd Southern African Solar Energy Conference, South Africa, 11-13 May, 2015.
Thermal energy storage is essential for the solar thermal
power plant for the continuous generation of electricity which
may be interrupted due to the intermittent nature of solar
radiation. In this context, phase change materials (PCMs) can
be used as the storage materials because of their high energy
density and the ability to store more energy compared to
sensible material with a small temperature difference. However,
most of the PCMs possess very low thermal conductivity
(~0.2–0.5 W/m-k), which severely affects the thermal
performance of the storage system. Therefore, it becomes
important to improve the effective thermal conductivity of
PCMs. In the present study, fin is used as a thermal
conductivity enhancer (TCE) to augment heat transfer in PCM.
The study numerically investigates the thermal performance of
the storage system during melting and solidification with and
without PCM. The enthalpy technique is adopted for modeling
convection- diffusion phase change in the storage system.