Numerical investigations of heat transfer in phase change materials using non-equilibrium model
Phase change materials (PCMs) are drawing increasing attention of researchers nowadays, and they play a pivotal role in thermal energy storage (TES) used in renewable energy resources applications, since these renewable energy, such as solar energy, wind energy and tidal energy, are intermittent and not available at any time. However, most of PCMs suffer from low thermal conductivities prolonging the charging and discharging processes. Metal foams with relatively high thermal conductivities, are believed to be able to enhance heat transfer performance of PCMs for those applications. In this paper, a two-equation non-thermal equilibrium model has been employed to tackle the phase change heat transfer problem in PCMs composites embedded into metal foams. Numerical results show good agreement with experimental data, and indicate that a better heat transfer performance can be achieved by using the metal foams of smaller pore size and smaller porosity, and heat transfer performance of PCMs can be enhanced by up to 10 times by embedded metal foams into PCMs.