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Accepted Manuscript

Improvement of Longitudinal Fins Configuration in Latent Heat Storage Systems

M. Kazemi, M.J. Hosseini, A.A. Ranjbar, R. Bahrampoury

PII: S0960-1481(17)30967-9

DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2017.10.006

Reference: RENE 9294

To appear in: Renewable Energy

Received Date: 24 April 2017

Revised Date: 21 September 2017

Accepted Date: 02 October 2017

Please cite this article as: M. Kazemi, M.J. Hosseini, A.A. Ranjbar, R. Bahrampoury, Improvement
of Longitudinal Fins Configuration in Latent Heat Storage Systems, Renewable Energy (2017), doi:
10.1016/j.renene.2017.10.006

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT

Highlights:
 The angle of longitudinal fins of a shell and tube heat exchanger is studied.
 Triple-fin and double-fin cases are simulated and compared for different angles.
 The upper fin of triple-fin cases doesn’t affect the total melting time
considerably.
 An optimum angle for the double-fin case is found which minimizes total
melting time.
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1 Improvement of Longitudinal Fins Configuration in Latent


2 Heat Storage Systems
3 M. Kazemi a, M. J. Hosseinib,*, A. A. Ranjbarc, R. Bahrampouryd

4 a School of Mechanical Engineering, Mazandaran University of Science and Technology, Babol, Iran
5 b Department of Mechanical Engineering, Golestan University, POB 155, Gorgan, Iran
6 c School of Mechanical Engineering, Babol University of Technology, POB 484, Babol, Iran

7 d Department of Mechanical Engineering, K. N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

8
9 Abstract

10 In this study, the consequences of variation of the longitudinal fins angle on the heat transfer
11 improvement during phase change are investigated. Therefore, the melting process of RT 35 as a phase
12 change material is studied for triple-fin and double-fin cases for different angles and the results are
13 compared with of bare tube case. Results indicated that due to the natural convection domination, the
14 upper fin does not leave a great effect on the total melting time. Considering the triple-fin heat
15 exchangers, as the fins angle increases from 60° to 120°, the total melting time reduces. However, when
16 double-fin cases are under consideration, reducing the angle from 150° to 45° results in melting time
17 reduction. More reduction in the angle increases the total melting time. Results also showed that the best
18 cases among triple-fin cases and among the double-fin cases result in 22.5 and 62 percent reduction in
19 melting time with respect to the simple heat exchanger.
20 Keywords: Phase change material, Melting, Fins angle, Triple-fin heat exchanger
21
22 1. Introduction

23 During recent few decades, daily increase in global energy consumption and the fact that fossil fuels are
24 not only pollutant but also are limited in amount have encouraged researchers to find an approach for
25 effective utilization of renewable energy. One of the challenges that industries face when employing
26 renewable energy sources is their unavailability during some intervals during the day. The best method
27 for eliminating this variation in availability is to store energy. Latent heat storage systems have attracted
28 the scientist attentions due to their high energy density, approximately constant operating temperature and
29 small vapor pressure. These heat storage systems absorb thermal energy from a heat source and the
30 included phase change material (PCM) melts which is called charge process. The melt can release its
31 energy and solidifies when the heat source is not available. These days, these PCMs are applied in

*Corresponding Author: (M.J. Hosseini) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Golestan University, P.O. Box
155, Gorgan, Iran, Email: Mj.hosseini@gu.ac.ir

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32 different fields of industry including refrigeration [1,2], solar energy [3,4], electrical devices [5,6] and
33 heating, ventilation and air conditioning [7,8].
34 Different shell geometries including spherical [9] and rectangular [10] have been considered. However
35 cylindrical shell and tube arrangements constitute the majority of researches in this field, around 70
36 percent. Hosseini et al. [11] studied melting process of RT50 as a PCM in a shell and tube heat exchanger.
37 They reported that the rate of phase change is directly proportional with HTF inlet temperature.
38 In order to develop latent heat storage systems, the best approach is to dilute the consequences of low
39 thermal conductivity of the phase change materials which brings about a practical proposal of these
40 storage systems to the industrial world. Among the techniques, distribution of nanoparticles in PCMs
41 [12], utilization of heat pipes [13] and employment of extended surfaces are some of the popular
42 approaches.
43 Among extended surface enhancement methods, adding fins [14,15] and multi-tube [16] can be
44 mentioned.
45 The research conducted by Agyenim et al. [17] on heat transfer improvement, using multi-tube, circular
46 fins and longitudinal fins, indicated that the system enhanced by longitudinal fins performs better both
47 during charge and discharge processes than the two other methods.
48 Betzel and Beer studied melting process of a heat storage system for a system enhanced with axial fins
49 and also without the fins [18]. Their results revealed that approximately isothermal copper fins and
50 adiabatic PVC fins behave differently regarding the heat transfer characteristics. Moreover, the melting
51 front shape and the rate of heat transfer are dependent to the fins arrangement.
52 Sciacovelli et al. [19] studied phase change process in a double pipe heat exchanger enhanced by single
53 bifurcation and double bifurcation Y-shaped fins. Results indicated that the double bifurcation fins
54 noticeably improve the heat transfer performance of the heat exchanger, 24% promotion in solidification
55 efficiency.
56 Mat et al. [20] numerically studied melting process of a kind of paraffin, RT 82, as a phase change
57 material in a triple tube heat exchanger. They considered different arrangements of fins, internal, external
58 and internal-external for a heat storage system to improve the melting process. They concluded that, the
59 fins presence, regardless of the implemented arrangement, leads to about 34.3% reduction in total melting
60 time in comparison with a finless arrangement. Hosseini et al. [21] examined the consequences of fins
61 height variation for longitudinally arranged fins. They found that increasing the height brings about a
62 more uniform temperature distribution and decreases the melting time. Their results indicated that taller
63 fins improve the melting process especially at the beginning stages which is due to the melting zone
64 penetration to the solid PCM.

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65 Rabienataj Darzi et al. [22] simulated and analyzed two dimensional phase change (solidification and
66 melting) in a double pipe heat exchanger for varying tube geometry, nano-particles distribution and
67 number of fins. They concluded that the rate of melting process is higher in the upper half than the lower
68 one due to the consequences of natural convection. The also reported that although the variation of the
69 shape of the central tube from circular to vertical elliptical does not affect the solidification process,
70 installation of extra fins improves the solidification process more in comparison with melting which is
71 due to the obstacles fins leave on the path of the naturally driven streams in the melting process.
72 Yuan et al. studied melting process of a phase change material for in a heat storage system enhanced with
73 two longitudinal fins for different angles and compared the results with bare tube case [23]. Results
74 showed that although the fins reduce the convective heat transfer, they lead to higher rate of heat transfer
75 and less melting time.
76 In order to improve the rate of heat transfer in a latent heat storage system, Liu and Groulx considered
77 two longitudinal straight fins as well as angled fins mounted on the central copper inner tube [24].
78 Comparing the two cases, for the inlet temperature of 50℃, the total melting time of the angled fin case is
79 slightly less than the straight fin case while no significant difference in the melting times is observed for
80 higher inlet temperature (60℃). They also noticed that there is no sensible difference between the two
81 cases when solidification is under consideration.
82 Agyenim et al. [25] experimentally studied phase change of Erythritol as the PCM in a unit enhanced by
83 longitudinal fins. Their experiments demonstrated that the optimum mass flow and HTF inlet temperature
84 which improve the heat absorption characteristics of the system are 30 kg/min and 140℃. Their
85 experimental investigation demonstrated that longitudinally arranged finned system provides charge and
86 discharge thermal potential of a PCM that meets heating requirements of a solar absorption cooling
87 system in wich LiBr/H2O is the HTF.
88 Rathod and Banerjee [26] experimentally studied melting and solidification processes of a shell and tube
89 heat exchanger enhanced with three longitudinal fins. Comparing the considered arrangement with that of
90 finless, illustrated that the rate of heat transfer improves as the fins are employed. The results indicated
91 that the presence of fins reduces the total solidification time up to 43.6% while this reduction for melting
92 process is 12.5% and 24.52% when 80°C and 85°C HTF inlet temperatures are considered, respectively.
93 It is also stated that the inlet mass flow rate affects the rate of heat transfer negligibly. Rosenfeld et al.
94 investigated melting process in a double pipe heat storage that is enhanced with three longitudinal fins
95 [27]. Their research clarified that close-contact melting improves the rate of heat transfer significantly.
96 In this study, continuing the literature, in order to reduce the unfavorable disadvantages of the low
97 conductivity of the phase change material, adding longitudinal fins are considered. Therefore the
98 arrangement of three longitudinal fins, with varying angular arrangements, is considered for the triple-fin

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99 heat exchanger. Afterward the most effective fins arrangement is found through a comparison among the
100 proposed cases. Results indicated that the presence of the upper fin does not have a significant effect on
101 the melting process, therefore its length is distributed on the two lower fins and the consequences of the
102 angle between the fins are studied.

103 2. Numerical approach

104 2.1. Physical model and boundary conditions

105 The studied shell and tube heat exchanger is shown in Fig. 1 in which two concentric pipes of 14 and 60
106 mm diameter are included. The length of the heat exchanger is 500 mm in which there is a 1-mm-thich
107 copper tube. Water as the HTF flows inside the inner tube and the space between the pipes is filled with
108 RT 35 as the PCM the properties of which is shown in Table 1. The proposed geometrical arrangements
109 of the three fins are shown in Fig.2. The fins length and thickness are 10 mm and 1.2 mm for all the cases.
110 The initial temperature of the setup is 25 °C which is less than the phase change temperature. The
111 insulation condition has been considered for the outer surface of the shell as the boundary condition and
112 the inlet temperature and mass flow rate are assumed to be 60 °C and 0.01 kg/s respectively, for all the
113 cases.

Fig. 1. Configuration of physical model.


114

θ=60° θ=90° θ=120°


Fig. 2. Fins arrangements of the triple-fins heat exchangers

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115 Table 1. Thermophysical properties of RT35 and HTF


PCM Melting 𝝆 𝑪𝒑 K µ L 𝜷
temperature [kg/m3] [J/kg.K] [W/m.K] [kg/m.s] [J/kg] [1/K]
range
[℃]
RT35 29-36 815 2000 0.2 0.023 170000 0.6e-3
HTF Inlet 𝝆 𝑪𝒑 K µ
Temperature [ [kg/m3] [J/kg.K] [W/m.K] [kg/m.s]
℃]
Water 60 983.3 4185 0.654 0.467e-3

116 2.2. Assumptions

117 In order to derive the governing physical and mathematical equations the following assumptions are
118 considered:
119  Flow is assumed to be laminar, transient, incompressible and three-dimensional.
120  Viscous dissipation is assumed to be negligible.
121  The thermophysical properties of the materials are assumed to be constant as the temperature varies.
122  Heat is transferred due to conduction and convection mechanisms.

123 2.3. Numerical model

124 In order to simulated the melting process in the latent heat storage system, the enthalpy-porosity method
125 [28,29] is implemented for a three dimensional model. Considering the assumptions made in section 2.2,
126 the continuity, momentum and energy equations can be presented as below:
127 For the HTF:
128 Continuity:
∇.𝑉𝑓 = 0 (1)
129 Momentum:
∂𝑉𝑓 1
∂𝑡
+ 𝑉𝑓 (∇.𝑉𝑓) =
𝜌𝑓
( ‒ ∇𝑃𝑓 + 𝜇𝑓∇2𝑉𝑓 + 𝜌𝑓𝑔) (2)

130 Energy:
∂𝐻𝑓
(
𝑘𝑓
∂𝑡
+ ∇ ∙ (𝑉𝐻𝑓) = ∇ )
∇ℎ
𝜌𝑓𝐶𝑝,𝑓 𝑓 (3)

131
132
133 For the PCM:

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134 Continuity:
∇.𝑉𝑝𝑐𝑚 = 0
(4)
Momentum:
∂𝑉𝑝𝑐𝑚 1
∂𝑡
+ 𝑉𝑝𝑐𝑚 (∇.𝑉𝑝𝑐𝑚) =
𝜌𝑝𝑐𝑚
( ‒ ∇𝑃𝑝𝑐𝑚 + 𝜇𝑝𝑐𝑚∇2𝑉𝑝𝑐𝑚 + 𝜌𝑝𝑐𝑚𝑔𝛽(𝑇 ‒ 𝑇𝑟𝑒𝑓)) + 𝑆 (5)

135 Energy:
∂𝐻𝑝𝑐𝑚
(
𝑘𝑝𝑐𝑚
∂𝑡
+ ∇ ∙ (𝑉𝐻𝑝𝑐𝑚) = ∇
𝜌𝑝𝑐𝑚𝐶𝑝,𝑝𝑐𝑚 )
∇ℎ𝑝𝑐𝑚 (6)

136 The PCM’s enthalpy can be represented as a summation of sensible enthalpy, ℎ𝑝𝑐𝑚, and latent enthalpy,
137 𝛥𝐻.
𝐻𝑝𝑐𝑚 = ℎ𝑝𝑐𝑚 + 𝛥𝐻 (7)
138 where
𝑇
ℎ𝑝𝑐𝑚 = ℎ𝑟𝑒𝑓 + ∫𝑇 𝐶𝑝,𝑝𝑐𝑚 𝑑𝑇 (8)
𝑟𝑒𝑓

139 in which thermal capacity, 𝐶𝑝,𝑝𝑐𝑚, is a constant factor that can be drawn outside the integral. The value of
140 the latent heat can be calculated using the PCM’s latent heat, 𝐿.
𝛥𝐻 = 𝜆𝐿 (9)
141 where liquid fraction 𝜆 varies in the range of zero (solid) to one (liquid) and is defined as below [30].

{
𝛥𝐻
=0 𝑖𝑓 𝑇 < 𝑇𝑠
𝐿
𝛥𝐻
𝜆= =1 𝑖𝑓 𝑇 > 𝑇𝑙𝑖𝑞
𝐿 (10)
𝛥𝐻 𝑇 ‒ 𝑇𝑠
= 𝑖𝑓 𝑇𝑠 < 𝑇 < 𝑇𝑙𝑖𝑞
𝐿 𝑇𝑙𝑖𝑞 ‒ 𝑇𝑠

142 where 𝑇𝑙𝑖𝑞 and 𝑇𝑠 are the two ends of the melting range of the PCM. Considering equation 2, 𝑆 is the
143 Darcy’s law damping term which is added to the momentum equation to include convection heat transfer
144 in this equation.
(1 ‒ 𝜆)2
𝑆= ‒ 3 𝐴𝑚𝑢𝑠ℎ𝑉 (11)
𝜆 +𝜀
145 𝐴𝑚𝑢𝑠ℎ is the mushy zone constant which is conventionally a large number in the range of 104 to 107. A
146 comparatively larger value of the constant is equivalent to higher rate of velocity damping. As this value
147 becomes excessively large, the solution will fluctuate. In the current paper, Amush constant is set on 106
148 and 𝜀 is a very small value parameter which is designated to prevent division to zero.

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149 The effect of mushy zone variation on the melting time of the triple-fin arranged in 120 degree angle is
150 shown in Fig. 3.
151

Fig. 3- Liquid fraction versus time for different mushy zone constant.
152

153 2.4. Numerical schemes and verification

154 The system’s governing equations have been solved employing SIMPLE algorithm via a 3D in-house
155 developed code [31]. In order to discretize the energy and momentum equations the QUICK
156 differentiating scheme is implemented. The pressure equation has been corrected using the PRESTO
157 scheme. In order to achieve a stable solution, under relaxation factors are considered which are 0.3, 0.6, 1
158 and 0.9 respectively for pressure, velocity, energy and volumetric liquid fraction. The convergence
159 tolerances for the continuity equation, momentum equation and energy equation are 10-5, 10-5 and 10-6.
160 In order to study the independency of the numerical solution to the mash grids and the time step, the
161 liquid fraction is studied for varying number of cells and different values of time step. The result of which
162 is summarized in tables 2 and 3. The selected values of the two parameters are highlighted for all the
163 cases. The process of the grid size and time step selection of one of the cases (case of 90°) can be
164 observed in Fig. 4 and the numerical mesh grid is shown in Fig. 5 for this case.
165 The results of the current CFD model has been compared with the experimental analysis on a simple
166 double pipe heat exchanger of Hosseini et al. [31] to validate the employed model. An acceptable match

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167 is observed between the two studied from which the average temperature versus time is chosen to be
168 presented in Fig. 6. Moreover a number of validations is also presented for specific points by which the
169 temperatures resulted from the current simulation are compared with the experimental data presented by
170 Jesumathy et al. [32]. As can be seen in Fig. 7, a fine match between the simulation results and the
171 experiment outputs of Jesumathy et al.’s.
172
173 Table 2. Selected cell numbers for different cases.
Case Cell Numbers
Without fin 51400 72000 94620 110190
60°-3 fins 45190 85100 105000 131078
90°-3 fins 36080 54400 98960 121840
120°-3 fins 38000 55130 102200 138200
174
175 Table 3. Selected time steps for different cases.
Case Time steps
Without fin 0.05 0.1 0.5
60°-3 fins 0.05 0.1 0.5
90°-3 fins 0.05 0.1 0.5
120°-3 fins 0.01 0.05 0.1
176
177

(a) (b)
Fig. 4. Numerical independence (a) grid size (b) time step for the case of 90°.
178

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Fig. 5. Numerical mesh grid for the case of 90°.


179

Fig. 6. Comparison of average temperature profile between the present work


and Hosseini et al. [31].
180
181
182
183

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Fig. 7. The comparison of temperature profiles at different locations between this study and Jesumathy et
al.’s [32].
184

185 3. Results and discussion


186 3.1. Melting process in a triple-fin heat exchanger

187 Melting process of the simple and triple-fin heat exchangers in midway along the length of cylindrical
188 shell are shown in Fig.8 for different fins angles, considering the bare tube heat exchanger, at the
189 beginning of the melting process, a small amount of the PCM has been melted just around the central
190 tube. During this stage, the dominated mechanism of heat transfer is conduction. As time passes, the
191 volumetric fraction of the melt increases which strengthens the buoyancy effect in the melt. The effect
192 pushes the hot liquid upwardly which brings about the superiority of the convection mechanism.
193 However, due to the existence of fins in finned cases, conduction plays a more important role in the
194 melting process. The presence of the fins is so effective that after 30 minutes of the process initiation,
195 upper half of the shell is completely melted in the enhanced cases. It can be seen in the figure that among
196 the finned cases, the one whose fins penetrate to the lower half of the shell (120°) performs more
197 acceptably in melting the PCM. This observation is due to the intrinsic behavior of the buoyancy effect
198 which pushes the hot liquid upwardly. Therefore the presence of fins in the lower half of the heat storage
199 system exposes a larger part of the shell to the buoyancy forces.

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200

Without fins θ =60° θ =90° θ =120°


5 min
10 min
20 min
30 min
80 min
130 min

Fig. 8. Liquid fraction contours in midway along the length of the triple-fin cases and the bare tube.
case.

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201 The variation of liquid fraction versus time for the triple-fin cases and the bare tube one is shown in Fig.9.
202 As the angles 60°, 90° and 120° is used, 6, 10 and 22.5 percent reduction in melting time is observed with
203 respect to the base case. As can be seen until 25 minutes, the rate of heat transfer in the case of 60° is
204 slightly more than others which can be explained via the small space between the three fins. In fact, the
205 limited amount of PCM between the fins melts in this portion and the presence of two hot surfaces next to
206 each other leads to an improved fluid movement and faster melting process. However as the process
207 continues, due to the largest distance between the fins and the lower half of the shell, this case becomes
208 the least capable to melt the remaining solid PCM at the bottom of the shell.

Fig.9. Liquid fraction versus time for the triple-fin cases and the base case.

209 Fig. 10 shows the amount of heat gain in term of time for all the finned tubes. At the initial stages of the
210 melting process, the heat absorption potential is maximum which results in the largest heat storage rate.
211 As the process continues, the PCM temperature rises and the temperature difference between the heat
212 transfer fluid and the PCM diminishes which results in a decrease in heat exchanger’s heat absorption
213 potential. During the above mentioned intervals the absorbed heat is mainly via sensible form. However
214 as the temperature approaches melting temperature, the mechanism of heat absorption changes from
215 sensible to latent and a slight increment in the heat absorption potential is observed (5 to 15 minutes).
216 Afterward, as the melt occupies the upper half of the shell, the mechanism of heat absorption becomes
217 sensible. Therefore the PCM temperature ascends that reduces the thermal potential between the two
218 media. As the thermal potential reduces the rate of heat absorption decreases. The figure also shows that

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219 after 25 minutes, the case 120° is able to absorb higher rate of energy due to the existence of two fins in
220 the lower half of the shell in this case.

Fig. 10. Rate of heat storage in the triple-fin heat storage systems.

221 Fig. 11 shows the temperature contours and streamlines for the triple-fin cases in which the angles
222 between the fins vary. As can be seen at the initial minutes of the process, small vortices form just next to
223 the fins surfaces and around the HTF carrying tube. As time passes, due to the buoyancy effect the
224 vortices move upwards. Considering the case 120°, the form of the two lower fins leads to vortices formed
225 between the two to be trapped. As 30 minutes passes, the trapped vortices can join other vortices due to
226 the expansion of the liquid zone which results in larger and stronger vortices with respect to the two other
227 cases. Considering the temperature contours shown on the left half of the figures, after a short time of
228 conduction domination period, the convection mechanism holds the superiority which results in upper
229 half higher temperature with respect to the lower one. In fact the temperature difference between these
230 upper parts plays an important role on creation of the vortices. Considering the temperature contours, it
231 can also be stated that the lower half average temperature of the case 120° , regardless of the moment
232 taken into account exceeds the average temperature of the two other cases due to the presence of
233 extended surface exclusively in the lower half of the shell.

234

235

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θ =60° θ =90° θ =120°


5 min
10 min
20 min
30 min
80 min
130 min

Fig. 11. temperature contours and streamlines at the midsection of the triple-
fin heat exchangers.

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236 Due to the reduction of the heat transfer fluid temperature as it flows along the heat exchanger, the
237 temperature difference between the two media reduces. This reduction in the thermal potential results in
238 lower values of melt fraction near the HTF outlet. Therefore in order to study the variations along the heat
239 exchanger a horizontal section at the height of y=28mm has been considered and the solid and liquid
240 fronts at the section are demonstrated at 15 minutes after the experiment initiation (Fig. 12). It is
241 noteworthy that the red and blue colors are utilized to show molten and solid PCM. Moreover, the melt
242 penetration length and its rate of increase are shown in Table 4. Results indicate that the increase in the
243 fins’ angle results in longer length of penetration. In other words, when the fins’ angle changes from 60°
244 to 90° and afterward to 120°, the melt penetration increases from 49.6% to 199.2%.
245

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Fig. 12. Solid and melt fronts at the height of y=28mm and at 15 minutes after the initiation.
246

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247 Table 4: Comparison of penetration length at certain time with changing angle.

θ Δx (mm) ηΔx= (( Δxθ= 90° & 120°– Δx60°) / Δx60°) ×100


60° 133 _
90° 199 49.6%
120° 398 199.2%

248 The obtained results show that the fins presence in the lower half of the shell influences the complete
249 melting time noticeably while the upper one, although changes the process at the initiation, does not affect
250 the total rate of heat transfer . Therefore, according to Fig. 13, the upper fin in the case 120° has been
251 removed and its length has been added to the two lower fins. Afterward the effect of the angle is studied
252 for the double fin heat exchanger.

Fig. 13. Improvement of triple-fin heat exchanger to double-fin heat exchanger.

253 3.2. melting process in a double-fin heat exchanger

254 The total melting time of the double-fin heat exchanger for different angles is shown in Fig. 14. It is clear
255 that there is an optimum value. In other words as the angle between the two fins diminishes from 150 to
256 45, a decreasing trend is observed which results in 53.5% reduction tin total melting time. However extra
257 reduction in the fins angle leads to longer melting time. It is interesting that at the best case, 45°, 62%
258 total melting time reduction is observed with respect to bare tube heat exchanger.

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Fig. 14. total melting time of double-fin cases as the angle changes

259 The melt fraction contours and streamlines of the double-fin heat exchanger for 15, 45, 75 and 120 degree
260 angle are shown in Fig. 15. As can be seen, after 5 minutes a thin layer melt covers the internal tube
261 surface the fins which is due to the conduction mechanism. As the angle between the fins increases, a
262 larger space trapped between the fins prevents the melt from moving to the upper parts of the shell which
263 in turn reduces the natural convection consequences. At 45°, a balance is achieved between both the heat
264 penetration of fins to the lowest parts of the shell and the natural convection. So, in this case, the solid
265 PCM easily melts in the region between than can freely move upwards. Considering the streamlines
266 presented in the figure, at the initial stages of the melting process, small vortices forms at all over the
267 inner tube and the fins. An exception for the space between the fins of the case 15° is due to the small
268 space provided. After some time, except the trapped vortices between the fins that cannot penetrate to the
269 upper half solid front, these vortices merge together because of the buoyancy effect. Moreover, it can be
270 concluded that as the angle reduces to 45°, the melting zone in which the vortices are formed expands
271 which results in accelerated melting process.
272 Results reported in Fig. 16 indicates that for the case of 45°, the 76 percent of the PCM melts in the first
273 30 minutes while the remaining 24 percent requires 35 minutes to melt. Considering the case in which the
274 angle is 120°, the same amount of PCM melts in the first 30 minutes, however in this case in order to melt
275 the remaining 24% percent, double time is essential.
276
277

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θ =15° θ =45° θ =75° θ =120°


5 min
10 min
15 min
30 min
45 min
65 min

Fig. 15. liquid fraction contours and streamlines of double-fin heat exchangers.

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278

Fig. 16. liquid fraction versus time for two cases of double-fin heat exchangers.

279 Conclusion

280 In this paper, the melting process of a PCM in a thermally enhanced heat exchanger is studied. Thus, the
281 effects of variation of longitudinal fins angles is studied on the melting front boundaries, total melting
282 time, rate of melting and the temperature distribution. The obtained results are summarized as below:

283  Considering the triple-fin cases, at initial steps, the highest rate of melting process is related to the
284 case in which the fins' angle is 60 degree. As the process progresses, larger angles improve the
285 melting process and decrease the total melting time.
286  In all the triple-fin cases, the upper half temperature is larger than the lower one. By increasing
287 the fins angle from 60° to 120°, the formation of melting front in lower half of the heat exchanger
288 accelerates and the temperature of this half is the highest when 120° case is considered.
289  Since the natural convection improves the melting process of the upper half of the heat exchanger
290 more than the lower part. Presence of fins in the lower part is more effective on lowering the total
291 melting time.
292  Among the double-fin cases, the optimum orientation of fins is related to the case of 45°.
293 Increasing the angle results in blockage of the natural convection streams. While reduction of the

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294 angle to less than 45°prevents the vortices formation between the two fins and increases the total
295 melting time.

296 Nomenclatures

297 𝑐𝑝 Specific heat capacity (J/kg. K)


298 𝑔 Gravity (m/s2)
299 ℎ Enthalpy (J/kg)
300 𝐻 Total enthalpy (J)
301 𝑘 Thermal conductivity (W/m. K)
302 𝐿 Latent heat (J/kg)
303 𝑃 Pressure (Pa)
304 𝑆 Source term
305 𝑇 Temperature (K)
306 𝑉 Velocity vector (m/s)
307 𝐴 Mushy zone constant (kg/m3. s)

308 Greek symbols


309 𝛽 Expansion coefficient (1/K)
310 𝜆 Liquid fraction
311 𝜇 Dynamic viscosity (Pa. s)
312 𝜌 Density (kg/m3)
313 θ Fins angle
314 𝜀 Numerical constant
315 η Efficiency
316 Δx Penetration length (m)

317 Subscripts
318 lat Latent
319 ref Reference
320 s Solid
321 𝑙𝑖𝑞 Liquid
322 𝑚𝑢𝑠ℎ Mushy zone
323 𝑓 Fluid
324 𝑝𝑐𝑚 Phase change material
325 References

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