Comptes Rendus
Research Article
Thermal behavior of Composite Material (nanoPCM/aluminum foam) used for thermal energy storage (TES) applications
Comptes Rendus. Physique, Volume 21 (2020) no. 3, pp. 233-252.

Thermal energy storage systems (TESS) using phase change materials (PCM) have attracted interest in various fields of science and technology. However, the interest of these systems is limited by the relatively low thermal conductivity of PCMs and their leakage in the melted state. To overcome these drawbacks, the present paper suggests a new alternative for the enhancement of the PCMs by incorporating highly conductive materials, such as metal foam and/or nanoparticles. A Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) was carried out to investigate the melting process of paraffin wax as PCM enhanced with alumina nanoparticles (i.e. nanoPCM) embedded in aluminum foam under constant temperature. A three-dimensional (3D) foam regular structure was designed. The effects of aluminum foam porosity and nanoparticles’ volume fraction on the thermal behavior of composite PCMs were investigated. The two-temperature model based on the assumption of local thermal non equilibrium was applied due to the great difference of thermal conductivity between nanoPCM and aluminum foam.

The results showed that both aluminum foam and alumina nanoparticles (Al 2 O 3 ) significantly accelerate the melting process. Furthermore, the effective thermal conductivity of composite PCM (nanoPCM/aluminum foam) drastically increased. The DNS results showed important temperature difference between PCM and metallic ligament, assuring the viability of local thermal non-equilibrium.

Les systèmes de stockage de l’énergie thermique (TESS) utilisant des matériaux à changement de phase (MCP) ont suscité l’intérêt dans divers domaines de la science et de la technologie. Cependant, l’intérêt de ces systèmes est limité par la conductivité thermique relativement faible des MCP et leur fuite à l’état fondu. Pour surmonter ces inconvénients, le présent document propose une nouvelle alternative pour l’amélioration des MCP en incorporant des matériaux hautement conducteurs, tels que mousse métallique et/ou nanoparticules. Une simulation numérique directe (DNS) a été réalisée pour étudier le processus de fusion de la cire de paraffine comme MCP amélioré par des nanoparticules d’alumine (c-à-d un nano-MCP) incorporées dans de la mousse d’aluminium à température constante. Une structure tridimensionnelle (3D) régulière de la mousse a été conçue. Les effets de la porosité de la mousse d’aluminium et de la fraction volumique des nanoparticules sur le comportement thermique des MCP composites ont été étudiés. Le modèle à deux températures basé sur l’hypothèse d’un non-équilibre thermique local a été appliqué en raison de la grande différence de conductivité thermique entre le nano-MCP et la mousse d’aluminium.

Les résultats ont montré que la mousse d’aluminium et les nanoparticules d’alumine (Al 2 O 3 ) accélèrent toutes deux de manière significative le processus de fusion. En outre, la conductivité thermique effective du MCP composite (nano-MCP/mousse d’aluminium) a augmenté de manière drastique. Les résultats de la DNS ont montré une différence de température importante entre le MCP et le ligament métallique, assurant la viabilité du non-équilibre thermique local.

Online First:
Published online:
DOI: 10.5802/crphys.2
Keywords: Alumina nanoparticles, Aluminum foam, Phase change material, Thermal energy storage, Direct numerical simulation
Mot clés : Nanoparticules d’alumine, Mousse d’aluminium, Matériau à changement de phase, Stockage d’énergie thermique, Simulation numérique directe

H. Mhiri 1; A. Jemni 1; H. Sammouda 1

1 University of Sousse- Laboratory of Energy & Materials (LabEM-LR11ES34), Rue Lamine Abbassi, 4011 Hammam Sousse, Tunisia
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
     author = {H. Mhiri and A. Jemni and H. Sammouda},
     title = {Thermal behavior of {Composite} {Material} {(nanoPCM/aluminum} foam) used for thermal energy storage {(TES)} applications},
     journal = {Comptes Rendus. Physique},
     pages = {233--252},
     publisher = {Acad\'emie des sciences, Paris},
     volume = {21},
     number = {3},
     year = {2020},
     doi = {10.5802/crphys.2},
     language = {en},
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H. Mhiri; A. Jemni; H. Sammouda. Thermal behavior of Composite Material (nanoPCM/aluminum foam) used for thermal energy storage (TES) applications. Comptes Rendus. Physique, Volume 21 (2020) no. 3, pp. 233-252. doi : 10.5802/crphys.2.

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