Enhanced melting for latent heat storage

Tomer Rozenfeld, Ron Hayat, Yoram Kozak, Gennady Ziskind

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Phase change materials (PCMs) can absorb large amounts of heat without significant rise of their temperature during the melting process. This effect is attractive for using in heat storage, e.g. for solar-thermal power plants. Heat transfer in PCMs, which have low thermal conductivity, can be enhanced by fins that enlarge the heat transfer area. However, when the PCM melts, a layer of liquid is growing at the fins creating an increasing thermal resistance that impedes the process. The present work demonstrates that performance of a latent-heat thermal storage unit may be considerably affected by achieving a so-called close-contact melting (CCM) which occurs when the solid phase is approaching a heated surface, and only a thin liquid layer is separating between the two. Although CCM was extensively studied in the past, its possible role in finned systems has been revealed only recently by our group. In particular, it depends heavily on the specific configuration of the fins. In the present work, some new findings in the field are reported. It is demonstrated that close-contact melting shortens the melting time drastically, provided a proper orientation of the fins is chosen. The results may be expressed in terms of the time-dependent melt fraction and Nusselt number, showing their dependence on the Stefan and Fourier numbers. Moreover, the approach used in the present study may be applied to geometries in which the heated surface is not horizontal or where there are a number of heated surfaces or fins.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st Thermal and Fluid Engineering Summer Conference, TFESC 2015
PublisherBegell House Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781567004311
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Event1st Thermal and Fluid Engineering Summer Conference, TFESC 2015 - New York City, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201512 Aug 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Thermal and Fluids Engineering Summer Conference


Conference1st Thermal and Fluid Engineering Summer Conference, TFESC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York City


  • Close-contact melting
  • Fin arrays
  • Heat transfer enhancement
  • PCM

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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