Solid liquid phase-change materials (PCMs) present a promising approach for reducing data center cooling costs. We review prior research in this area. A shell-and-tube PCM thermal energy storage (TES) unit is then analyzed numerically and experimentally. The tube bank is filled with commercial paraffin RUBITHERM RT 28 HC PCM, which melts as the heat transfer fluid (HTF) flows across the tubes. A fully implicit one-dimensional control volume formulation that utilizes the enthalpy method for phase change has been developed to determine the transient temperature distributions in both the PCM and the tubes themselves. The energy gained by a column of tubes is used to determine the exit bulk HTF temperature from that column, ultimately leading to an exit HTF temperature from the TES unit. This paper presents a comparison of the numerical and experimental results for the transient temperature profiles of the PCM-filled tubes and HTF.

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