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Experimental and numerical investigation of thermal energy storage with a finned tube
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A latent heat thermal energy storage system using a phase change material (PCM) is an efficient way of storing or releasing a large amount of heat during melting or solidification. It has been determined that the shell-and-tube type heat exchanger is the most promising device as a latent heat system that requires high efficiency for a minimum volume. In this type of heat exchanger, the PCM fills the annular shell space around the finned tube while the heat transfer fluid flows within the tube. One of the methods used for increasing the rate of energy sto rage is to increase the heat transfer surface area by employing finned surfaces. In this study, energy storage by phase change around a radially finned tube is investigated numerically and experimentally. The solution of the system consists of the solving governing equations for the heat transfer fluid (HTF), pipe wall and phase change material. Numerical simulations are performed to investigate the effect of several fin parameters (fin spacing and fin diameter) and flow parameter (Re number and inlet temperature of HTF) and compare with experimental results. The effect of each variable on energy storage and amount of solidification are presented graphically.