26512 Experimental testing of a PCM heat exchanger with and without fin structures
Richtingen: Master of Science in Electromechanical Engineering


EU leaders agreed on October 23rd 2014 that a domestic 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target of at least 40% compared to 1990 will be implemented. Thermal energy storage (TES) have the great potential in energy conservation in the building and industrial sector. Their integration in thermal/electrical systems can optimize the use of renewable or industrial (waste) energy by peak shaving and shifting strategies leading to a more rational use of energy and reduction of CO2 emissions. Latent heat TES (LHTES) using phase change materials (PCM) are characterized by high energy densities with the advantage of the isothermal nature of the storage process. They only suffer from low thermal conductivities. To increase the effective thermal conductivity fins could be used. For integration and optimal use of these finned storage systems effective design strategies are needed but unfortunately only numerical methods are useful so far. Numerous studies can be found on conductivity enhancement with fins but somehow researchers forget to use the experimental and numerical results to wrap in a design strategy.


Within this thesis it is the purpose to experimentally test the heat transfer in a shell and tube PCM heat exchanger (Figure 1). The results of a bare tube will serve as benchmark tests after which a finned heat exchanger will be designed and tested (Figure 2). The influence of adding fins to such a system will be quantified. The goal is by experimental characterization of such systems to define the influence of changing geometry parameters and introduce this in design strategies or correlations.

This project aids in achieving sustainable development goal (SDG) 7: affordable and clean energy, by enabling the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy sources and reduce and optimize the use of energy through implementation of thermal energy storage systems.