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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Z.B. Xing, Xingchao Han, Hanbing Ke, Q.G. Zhang, Zhiping Zhang, Huijin Xu and Fuqiang Wang

A combination of highly conductive porous media and nanofluids is an efficient way for improving thermal performance of relevant applications. For precisely predicting the…

Abstract

Purpose

A combination of highly conductive porous media and nanofluids is an efficient way for improving thermal performance of relevant applications. For precisely predicting the flow and thermal transport of nanofluids in porous media, the purpose of this paper is to explore the inter-phase coupling numerical methods.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the lattice Boltzmann (LB) method, this study combines the convective flow, non-equilibrium thermal transport and phase interactions of nanofluids in porous matrix and proposes a new multi-phase LB model. The micro-scale momentum and heat interactions are especially analyzed for nanoparticles, base fluid and solid matrix. A set of three-phase LB equations for the flow/thermal coupling of base fluid, nanoparticles and solid matrix is established.

Findings

Distributions of nanoparticles, velocities for nanoparticles and the base fluid, temperatures for three phases and interaction forces are analyzed in detail. Influences of parameters on the nanofluid convection in the porous matrix are examined. Thermal resistance of nanofluid convective transport in porous structures are comprehensively discussed with the models of multi-phases. Results show that the Rayleigh number and the Darcy number have significant influences on the convective characteristics. The result with the three-phase model is mildly larger than that with the local thermal non-equilibrium model.

Originality/value

This paper first creates the multi-phase theoretical model for the complex coupling process of nanofluids in porous structures, which is useful for researchers and technicians in fields of thermal science and computational fluid dynamics.

Details

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0961-5539

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2019

Huijin Xu, Yan Wang and Xingchao Han

Phase change energy storage is an important solution for overcoming human energy crisis. This study aims to present an evaluation for the thermal performances of a phase…

Abstract

Purpose

Phase change energy storage is an important solution for overcoming human energy crisis. This study aims to present an evaluation for the thermal performances of a phase change material (PCM) and a PCM–metal foam composite. Effects of pore size, pore density, thermal conductivity of solid structure and mushy region on the thermal storage process are examined.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, temperature, flow field and solid–liquid interface of a PCM with or without porous media were theoretically assessed. The influences of basic parameters on the melting process were analyzed. A PCM thermal storage device with a metal foam composite is designed and a thermodynamic analysis for it is conducted. The optimal PCM temperature and the optimal HTF temperature in the metal foam-enhanced thermal storage device are derived.

Findings

The results show that the solid–liquid interface of pure PCM is a line area and that of the mixture PCM is a mushy area. The natural convection in the melting liquid is intensive for a PCM without porous medium. The porous medium weakens the natural convection and makes the temperature field, flow field and solid–liquid interface distribution more homogeneous. The metal foam can greatly improve the heat storage rate of a PCM.

Originality/value

Thermal storage rate of a PCM is compared with that of a PCM–metal foam composite. A thermal analysis is performed on the multi-layered parallel-plate thermal storage device with a PCM embedded in a highly conductive porous medium, and an optimal melting temperature is obtained with the exergy optimization. The heat transfer enhancement with metal foams proved to be necessary for the thermal storage application.

Details

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0961-5539

Keywords

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