This paper will discuss the characterization of an air-PCM storage design for commercial air handling unit (AHU) applications during winter. The air-PCM storage design consists of two rows of 29 aluminum flat plate containers (0.45 m × 0.35 m × 0.01 m) filled with PCM, vertically aligned leaving an air channel between each plate of 0.011 m wide. The storage device was placed within a closed air loop which conditions the air to the desired testing temperature and velocity. The PCM selected for testing was RT44HC with a melting temperature of 44 °C. This PCM was chosen for its similar properties to other PCMs having lower melting temperatures (in the range of 5 to 18°C) that could be used in actual HVAC application implementation. The system was instrumented and calibrated with Type T thermocouples and a velocity sensor. The system was tested at various inlet temperatures (55°C to 63°C for charging and 12°C to 25°C for discharging) and flow rates. The instantaneous heat transfer rates and total energy storage were calculated for each test from the data collected. The results provide a baseline value for heat transfer rates in a simple air-PCM design, to be used for model validation.

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