Numerical study of the melting process of a novel phase change material using a rectangular shell-coil heat exchanger

Nicolas Cabrera, Victor Alexis Lizcano-González, Viatcheslav Kafarov*, Khamid Mahkamov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the numerical study of the melting process of hydrogenated palm stearin as a new phase change material (PCM) using a shell-coil heat exchanger. A phenomenological model was proposed and validated using experimental results. After model validation, numerical simulation was used to study the influence of natural convection on the melting process and stored energy in a rectangular shell-coil heat exchanger. The influence of operational variables such as the inlet velocity and the temperature of the heat transport fluid (HTF) on the melting time was studied with an analysis of variance (ANOVA) with inlet temperatures of 65 °C, 75 °C and 85 °C and inlet velocities of 1 l·min−1, 2 l·min−1 and 3 l·min−1. The ANOVA indicated that the inlet temperature has the greatest influence on the melting time, while the inlet velocity has no significant effect. For the study of the influence of natural convection, the natural convection heat transfer coefficient was determined, showing that the upper zones have the greatest influence of natural convection, achieving coefficients of 61.8, 39.1 and 66.8 W·m−2·°C−1. In addition, using a rectangular shell-coil heat exchanger presents a more uniform melting process in the lower zones, allowing the melting of all the PCM. According to simulations, two streams of movement of the liquid phase of the PCM are formed in the center of the system. These results shows that hydrogenated palm stearin has a high capacity for energy store, reaching 306.46 kJ·kg−1.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102636
Number of pages14
JournalThermal Science and Engineering Progress
Early online date15 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

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