Experimental and numerical evaluation of phase-change material performance in a vertical cylindrical capsule for thermal energy storage

T. Shockner, G. Ziskind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Thermal energy storage (TES) is considered vital for the advancement of renewable energy solutions. Latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) captures the thermal energy via a solid–liquid phase transition that occurs in phase-change materials (PCM). The PCM is usually encapsulated in some way. In this study, we consider PCM melting in a vertical cylindrical enclosure, that is a prototype of a capsule used in a future storage system. Moreover, we achieve the highly desirable close-contact melting (CCM), which speeds up the charging process significantly. First, different types of experiments are conducted to elucidate the melting behavior in an original experimental device that allows different types of melting in such configuration, demonstrating the prominent role of close-contact melting. The device main features are transparency of the melting chamber, separate heating methods for the periphery and the bottom of the chamber, and axisymmetric melting. To further investigate the heat transfer modes in the system, an in-house numerical model for combined convective and close-contact melting in an axisymmetric cylindrical geometry is validated with the experimental results. Then, this original model is used to simulate a vertical cylindrical shell in a practical configuration, namely, when an enclosure is exposed to fluid flow normal to its bottom. The results clearly illustrate the importance of close-contact melting for the overall melting process under practical conditions. The conclusions from this work would aid the design of LHTES installations which involve macro-encapsulated PCM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119519
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2023


  • Close-contact melting
  • Numerical modeling
  • Phase change material
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Vertical cylindrical shell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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