This paper presents the results of experimental and numerical research activities on a packed bed sensible thermal energy storage (TES) system. The TES consists of a cylindrical steel tank filled with small alumina beads and crossed by air used as the heat transfer fluid. Experimental tests were carried out hile varying some operating parameters such as the mass flow rate, the inlet–outlet temperature thresholds and the aspect ratio (length over diameter). Numerical simulations were carried out using a one-dimensional model, specifically developed in the Matlab-Simulink environment and a 2D axisymmetric model based on the ANSYS-Fluent platform. Both models are based on a two-equation transient approach to calculate fluid and solid phase temperatures. Thermodynamic properties were considered to be temperature-dependent and, in the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model, variable porosity of the bed in the radial direction, thermal losses and the effective conductivity of the alumina beads were also considered. The simulation results of both models were compared to the experimental ones, showing good agreement. The one-dimensional model has the advantage of predicting the axial temperature distribution with a very low computational cost, but it does not allow calculation of the correct energy stored when the temperature distribution is strongly influenced by the wall. To overcome this problem a 2D CFD model was used in this work.

Experimental and numerical research activity on a packed bed TES system

CASCETTA, MARIO;ARENA, SIMONE;CASTI, EFISIO;CAU, GIORGIO;PUDDU, PIERPAOLO
2016-01-01

Abstract

This paper presents the results of experimental and numerical research activities on a packed bed sensible thermal energy storage (TES) system. The TES consists of a cylindrical steel tank filled with small alumina beads and crossed by air used as the heat transfer fluid. Experimental tests were carried out hile varying some operating parameters such as the mass flow rate, the inlet–outlet temperature thresholds and the aspect ratio (length over diameter). Numerical simulations were carried out using a one-dimensional model, specifically developed in the Matlab-Simulink environment and a 2D axisymmetric model based on the ANSYS-Fluent platform. Both models are based on a two-equation transient approach to calculate fluid and solid phase temperatures. Thermodynamic properties were considered to be temperature-dependent and, in the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model, variable porosity of the bed in the radial direction, thermal losses and the effective conductivity of the alumina beads were also considered. The simulation results of both models were compared to the experimental ones, showing good agreement. The one-dimensional model has the advantage of predicting the axial temperature distribution with a very low computational cost, but it does not allow calculation of the correct energy stored when the temperature distribution is strongly influenced by the wall. To overcome this problem a 2D CFD model was used in this work.
thermal energy storage; packed beds; porous media; thermocline; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD); numerical simulation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/213376
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