A two-dimensional numerical simulation of outward melting process of a phase change material, n-octadecane, contained in a horizontal cylindrical annulus has been performed with a finite-difference solution of the governing partial differential equations of the system. Both conduction in the unmelted solid and natural convection induced in the melt have been taken into account. Results have been obtained for Rayleigh numbers up to Ra = 2.4 × 105 and the radius ratio of the annulus in a range of 1.6–3.0. The simulations are examined in the light of the effects of both the natural convection in the melt region and/or the subcooling in the solid region on the time-variation of the melting front during the process.

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