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The development of a latent heat thermal energy storage system using a phase change material for solar energy application.

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This investigation forms part of an attempt to provide an alternative to conventional power generation technologies that use fossil fuels which have impact on global warming. The field of this investigation covers the development of a latent heat thermal storage system which has a potential of conserving available solar energy. The advantages of using thermal energy storage that have been found previously include reduced energy cost, energy consumption, equipment size and pollutant emissions, also increased flexibility of operation, efficiency and effectiveness of equipment utilization. Traditionally, available heat has been stored in the form of sensible heat (typically by raising the temperature of the energy storage medium) for later use. Latent heat storage on the other hand, is a young and developing technology which has found considerable interest in recent times due to its advantages over sensible heat storage which include smaller temperature swing, smaller size and lower weight per unit of storage capacity. It has been demonstrated that, for the development of a latent heat thermal energy storage system, the choice of the phase change material (PCM) as well as the heat transfer mechanism in the PCM play important roles. In this study, a suitable phase change material and an appropriate heat transfer enhancement technique are identified for utilization in a proposed latent heat thermal energy storage system. Also included, is the design of the proposed heat storage system.


Thesis (M.Sc.Eng.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2010.


Solar energy., Heat--Transmission., Theses--Civil engineering.