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An experimental investigation of forced convection heat transfer with novel microencapsulated phase change material slurries in a circular tube under constant heat flux

Zhang, Guanhua, Cui, Guomin, Dou, Binlin, Wang, Zilong, Goula, Maria A.
Energy conversion and management 2018 v.171 pp. 699-709
convection, energy, liquids, microencapsulation, phase transition, slurries, transportation, turbulent flow
This paper proposes novel microencapsulated phase change material slurries (MPCSs) as both the energy storage media and heat transfer fluids. The flow and heat transfer characteristics of MPCSs have been experimentally investigated. A series of experiments were conducted in laminar, transition and turbulent flow conditions for MPCSs in a circular tube under constant heat flux, respectively. The results of pressure drop measurements showed that transportation costs of slurries were close to pure water. The heat transfer experiments demonstrated that proposed MPCSs could enhance the heat transfer performance as the heat transfer fluids for thermal system applications in comparison with pure water. The average enhancement percentages of the Nusselt number were 23.9%, 20.5% and 9.1% for MPCS of 5 wt%, and enhancement of the Nusselt number was achieved when phase change material in the microcapsules were in solid, solid/liquid and liquid states, respectively. However, heat transfer enhancement of MPCS depends on the following combination factors: the slurry concentration, the flow rate, the pumping power and the heating rate. Importantly, the phase change process must be carefully controlled in the heat transfer test section with above combination factors in order to take advantages of MPCS over pure water.