Maximization of Performance in Multi-Tube Latent Heat Storage - Optimization of Fins Topology, Effect of Materials Selection and Flow Arrangements

Ashesh Sharma, Alberto Pizzolato, Ruihuan Ge, Kurt Maute, Vittorio Verda, Adriano Sciacovelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus Citations

Abstract

This paper addresses the need of multi-tube latent heat thermal storage (LHTES) systems with enhanced heat transfer performance. Uniquely, this work draws from topology optimization method for thermal energy storage to search for the optimal configuration of fins in multi-tube LHTES systems with different phase change materials (PCMs), flow arrangements and design constraints. The design freedom of topology optimization allows the discovery of innovative LHTES designs and elucidate the link between design and physical processes occurring during charging/discharging. Three key results of this study are: i) the optimized fin design is tightly connected to the type of storage duty cycle, which demonstrates the necessity to account for realistic operating conditions in the optimization process. ii) The fin material should be chosen in parallel with the layout of the fins and not sequentially as commonly done; this indicates that the optimization of LHTES systems is a co-design challenge. iii) Topology optimized multi-tube LHTES units surpass in performance fins optimized for a single-tube configuration in a multi-tube unit. Finally, this work demonstrates for the first time the manufacturability of topology-optimized LHTES units by using 3D printing.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number114797
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy
Volume203
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-72676

Keywords

  • Energy storage
  • Heat transfer intensification
  • Phase change materials (PCMs)
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Topology optimization

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