The interstitial heat transfer coefficient (IHTC) is a key parameter in the two-energy equation model usually employed to investigate the thermal performance of high porosity open-cell metal foam/paraffin composite phase change material. Due to the existence of weak convection of liquid paraffin through metal foam during phase change process, the IHTC should be carefully determined for a low Reynolds number range (Re = 0–1), which however has been rarely addressed in the literature. In this paper, a direct simulation at foam pore scale is carried out to determine the IHTC between paraffin and metal foam at Re = 0–1. For this purpose, the cell structures reflecting realistic metal foams are first constructed based on the three-dimensional (3D) Weaire–Phelan foam cell to serve as the representative elementary volume (REV) of metal foam for direct simulation. Then, by solving the Navier–Stokes equations and energy equation for the REV, the influences of Reynolds number (Re), Prandtl number (Pr), foam porosity (ε), and pore density (PPI) on the dimensionless IHTC, i.e., the Nusselt number Nuv, are investigated. According to the numerical results, a correlation of Nuv at Re = 0–1 is proposed for metal foam/paraffin composite material, which covers both diffusion-dominated interstitial heat transfer region (Re ≤ 0.1) and convection-dominated interstitial heat transfer region (0.1 < Re ≤ 1). Finally, the applicability of this correlation in the two-energy equation model for solid–liquid phase change of paraffin in metal foam is validated by comparing the model predicted melting front with that of experimental observations made in this study. It is found that the IHTC correlation proposed in this study can be used in the two-energy equation model for well predicting the phase change process of paraffin in metal foam.

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