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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 291657, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/291657
Research Article

Indoor Solar Thermal Energy Saving Time with Phase Change Material in a Horizontal Shell and Finned-Tube Heat Exchanger

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Assiut University, Assiut 71516, Egypt
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran
4Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jahrom Branch, Payame Noor University, Jahrom, Iran

Received 2 September 2014; Revised 28 December 2014; Accepted 12 January 2015

Academic Editor: Kamel Hooman

Copyright © 2015 S. Paria 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.

Abstract

An experimental as well as numerical investigation was conducted on the melting/solidification processes of a stationary phase change material (PCM) in a shell around a finned-tube heat exchanger system. The PCM was stored in the horizontal annular space between a shell and finned-tube where distilled water was employed as the heat transfer fluid (HTF). The focus of this study was on the behavior of PCM for storage (charging or melting) and removal (discharging or solidification), as well as the effect of flow rate on the charged and discharged solar thermal energy. The impact of the Reynolds number was determined and the results were compared with each other to reveal the changes in amount of stored thermal energy with the variation of heat transfer fluid flow rates. The results showed that, by increasing the Reynolds number from 1000 to 2000, the total melting time decreases by 58%. The process of solidification also will speed up with increasing Reynolds number in the discharging process. The results also indicated that the fluctuation of gradient temperature decreased and became smooth with increasing Reynolds number. As a result, by increasing the Reynolds number in the charging process, the theoretical efficiency rises.