Maximum utilization of solar energy is very critical to achieve, because a significant portion of solar energy is lost in the form of heat. In that case Thermal Energy Storage (TES) can play a significant role by capturing the energy in the form of heat and later on can be used as a backup source of energy for utilizing it in critical time. On the other side, from the view point of conservation of energy, energy cannot be created or destroyed, but surprisingly a significant amount of energy cannot be utilized due to the instantaneous nature of conventional power generation. So storing Energy is the most unique idea that can act as a strong backup for the instantaneous nature of power generation as it not only adds up to the power generation capacity but also serves to be the most reliable medium of supplying power when the energy demand is at peak. In the authors’ previous work a phase change material (molten solar salt comprised of 60% NaNO3+40%KNO3) and a system design for thermal energy storage (TES) system integrated with a solar Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) has been proposed. The associated research problems investigated for phase change material (PCM) are the low thermal conductivity and low rate of heat transfer from heat transfer fluid to PCM. In this study a detailed numerical modeling of the proposed design using MATLAB code and the relevant calculation and results are discussed. The numerical model is based on 1-D finite difference explicit technique using the fixed grid enthalpy method. To overcome the research problem highly conductive nano-particle graphite is used to enhance the effective thermal conductivity of the PCM material in theoretical calculation. In the later part of the study results from the numerical computation have been utilized to demonstrate a comparison between a conventional heating system (with a simple single tube as a heat exchanger) and a branching heat exchanger in PCM thermal energy storage system using NTU-Effectiveness method. The comparison results show a significant amount of improvement using branching network and mixing nano-particle in terms of heat transfer, thermal conductivity enhancement, charging time minimization and pressure drop decrease. The results of this study can convince us that the proposed medium temperature TES system coupled with solar ORC can be a stepping-stone for energy efficient and sustainable future in small-scale power generation as the system proves to be better in terms of enhanced heat transfer, increased thermal conductivity and overall sustainability.

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