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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8363190, 10 pages
Research Article

Thermal Storage Capacity and Night Ventilation Performance of a Solar Chimney Combined with Different PCMs

Key Laboratory of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region’s Eco-Environment, Ministry of Education, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yongcai Li

Received 8 February 2017; Revised 5 April 2017; Accepted 22 May 2017; Published 5 July 2017

Academic Editor: Alibakhsh Kasaeian

Copyright © 2017 Jun Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thermal storage capacity and airflow rate of a solar chimney combined with different PCMs are numerically studied during nighttime. PCMs with phase change temperatures of 38°C, 44°C, 50°C, and 63°C are selected in this numerical study. Results show that the maximum average ventilation rate of 610 kg/m2 and maximum thermal storage of 4750 kJ/m2 are achieved at the phase change temperature of 38°C. However, for phase change temperature of 63°C, night ventilation does not occur under the identical conditions. The findings reveal that a lower phase change temperature can increase the chargeability (and therefore the dischargeability) of a solar chimney, since a higher phase change temperature demands higher solar radiation intensity and longer charging time for a solar chimney. For PCM with a phase change temperature of 44°C, most of the heat stored in PCM is lost to ambient through glass cover by radiation and only a small portion is used for heating the air within air channel.