International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol.140, 731-742, 2019
An experimental investigations of the melting of RT44HC inside a horizontal rectangular test cell subject to uniform wall heat flux
This study experimentally investigates the effect of different values of wall heat flux intensity on the melting of RT44HC Phase Change Material (PCM) in a rectangular test cell. A new novel experimental test rig to provide accurate data for the validation of numerical models of phase change was developed. The designed and constructed test rig consists of a horizontal rectangular cross-section test cell formed from polycarbonate sheet with copper plates and mica heaters to provide controlled uniform wall heat flux. Experiments were performed for three constant uniform wall heat flux values (q(wall)'' = 675, 960 and 1295 W/m(2)) applied to both left and right sides of the test cell. An imaging technique was used to visualize and record the movement of the solid-liquid interface using a Canon EOS DSLR Camera. The results obtained show a strong correlation between the magnitude of wall heat flux which drives the convective heat transfer and melt fraction development in the PCM. The results also show that increasing the input power from 675 W/m(2) to 960 W/m(2) to 1295 W/m(2) reduces the total time for the melting process by 26.3% and 42.10% respectively. The raw data set comprised of measured temperatures and observation of melt fraction development provide a useful data set for validation of numerical models aiming to simulate the melting process in a rectangular cross-section test cell. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.