Abstract

Understanding the performance of the thermal storage materials is required to successfully meet the needs of next generation concentrating solar power projects. This study focuses on the thermal characteristics of the micro-encapsulated phase change material (MEPCM) with metallic core under high temperature. A numerical model was developed and verified to study the transient heat absorption process of MEPCMs made of tin, aluminum and copper core. Convective heat transfer rate, total energy absorption and volumetric energy density were presented. The effect of encapsulation on theses variables was analyzed under various boundary and initial conditions. Its impact on characteristic time variables was discussed. The method presented can be adopted to analyzing both manufacturing and application processes for MEPCMs of various compositions, during which melting and solidification happen. Given certain operating conditions, the results from the model can be referenced to obtain optimal thermal performance of these materials.

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