CIESC Journal ›› 2019, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (3): 850-856.doi: 10.11949/j.issn.0438-1157.20181024

• Fluid dynamics and transport phenomena • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Experimental visualization on thermal energy storage enhancement through metal foam filled annuli

Pan WEI1(),Jiabang YU1,Zengxu GUO1,Xiaohu YANG1,2(),Yaling HE2   

  1. 1. Institute of the Building Environment & Sustainability Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, Shaanxi, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Thermal Fluid Science and Engineering of Ministry of Education, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, Shaanxi,China
  • Received:2018-09-12 Revised:2018-12-20 Online:2019-03-05 Published:2019-01-04
  • Contact: Xiaohu YANG;


Intensified heat transfer research was carried out for the heat exchange basic unit-heat exchange tube in the tube-and-tube phase change regenerator. The metal foam was added on the side of the phase change material to enhance the heat storage. Phase interface was recorded by a high-definition camera during the charging process. T-type thermocouples were attached separately on the radial and axial sides of the PCM. Charging processes of smooth tube and metal foam tube were quantified under the flow rate of 0.15 m·s-1. The results demonstrated that the involvement of metal foam can significantly enhance the efficiency of thermal energy storage under the same charging condition (initial temperature, inlet temperature and flow rate). It took over 2.9 more times for the melting time of pure paraffin than that of metal foam under the same condition. The temperature response rate of metal foam tube was much higher and the temperature distribution was more uniform, in comparison with that of smooth tube.

Key words: phase change heat exchanger, solar energy, phase change, porous media, visualization

CLC Number: 

  • TQ 124


Schematic show of experimental system"


Structure of heat storage tube and layout of monitoring points for temperature (a) and images of copper foam with and without saturated by PCM(b)"


Internal and external phase interface changes of two samples against time"


Comparison of paraffin with composite PCM on timewise development of temperatures at different radial positions"


Comparison of pure paraffin with metal foam/paraffin composite on timewise development of temperatures along different axial directions"

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