Numerical and experimental investigations on melting heat transfer performance of PCM in finned cold thermal energy storage

Yee Ting Lee, Liang Han Chien, Fan Bill Cheung, An Shik Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cold thermal energy storage (CTES) is of great importance for the enduring decrease in fossil fuel energy consumption. Moreover, CTES with phase change materials (PCMs) can be an effective measure to accumulate the heat or cooling energy for overcoming the mismatch between the supply and demand of air conditioning loads, augmenting system dependability and flexibility in operations of power grids. This paper numerically and experimentally examines the melting characteristics of PCM inside a CTES tank with the installation of interior fins. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software ANSYS/Fluent® is applied to predict the time sequences of liquid fraction contours and temperatures in comparison with the photographed images of ice-liquid water interface and measurement data in the CTES tank to verify the accuracy of CFD predictions. The simulations by the validated CFD model are extended to evaluate the influences of fin height and total number of longitudinal fins on the heat transfer outcomes in the storage tank. The present study further proposes a novel design adopting stratified fins to enhance the melting performance of the CTES device. The estimated mean power with the new stratified fin design is notably greater than that without fins by 156.3%, achieving the effectively liquefaction enhancement of ice for guiding the development of finned cold thermal energy storage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124199
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - 15 08 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • CFD simulation
  • Cold thermal energy storage
  • Demand side management
  • Fin structure
  • Melting process
  • Phase change materials


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