Renewable Energy, Vol.161, 1195-1208, 2020
Numerical and experimental investigations of latent thermal energy storage device based on a flat micro-heat pipe array-metal foam composite structure
Latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) is crucial in the application of renewable energy and waste heat recovery. A novel LHTES device with a flat micro-heat pipe array (FMHPA)-metal foam composite structure is designed in this study to obtain excellent heat transfer performance. An evaluation standard called integrated power is proposed to assess and compare the structural advantages of the LHTES device with others. Performances of FMHPA, temperature distribution, effort of inlet temperature and velocity of heat transfer fluid (HTF) are also studied in the experiments. A three-dimensional numerical model is developed to investigate the effort of porosity and pore density of metal foam on the charging process. Results show that the FMHPA-copper foam composite structure improves the performance of the LHTES device. This structure exhibits stronger heat transfer performance than that of other devices. The increasing inlet temperature of HTF has a better promotion effect on power than raising HTF velocity. High porosity is conducive to natural convection but detrimental to heat conduction. High pore density is disadvantageous to natural convection and does not affect heat conduction. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.