Analysis of NePCM melting flow inside a trapezoidal enclosure with hot cylinders: Effects of hot cylinders configuration and slope angle

Case Studies in Thermal Engineering(2024)

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Hot cylinders within the cavity can find diverse thermal applications, ranging from electronic devices and heat exchangers to solar systems, nuclear reactors, and the thermal design of passive cooling systems. Consequently, considering the use of phase change materials (PCM) close to hot cylinders emerges as a viable method for both cooling and storing thermal energy. In this work, two hot cylinders are arranged vertically and horizontally in the nano-enhanced phase change material (NePCM) trapezoidal enclosure with varying angles. The novelty of the current study lies in the fact that no prior research has explored the impact of hot cylinders arrangement on the melting process of a NePCM within a trapezoidal cavity, considering various inclination angles. The fixed grid, adaptive mesh refinement, and enthalpy-porosity method are used to model the melting flow. The numerical results indicate that the trapezoidal enclosure with vertically arranged hot cylinders exhibits better thermal performance than the other configuration. It is also found that the full melting time for both arrangements is minimum when the angle of the trapezoidal enclosure is γ=+40°. The reduction in full melting times for the vertical and horizontal arrangements of this angle are 25.3% and 29.6%, respectively, compared to the trapezoidal enclosure with γ=0.0°. Moreover, the NePCM with the graphite nanoplatelets (GNPs) of φ=1.0% has the shortest melting time for 0.0%≤φ≤3.0%. As future research, further exploration into the complexities of non-Newtonian NePCM flow can be pursued. Additionally, there is potential to explore modifying the cylinders' geometry into elliptical forms, encompassing a range of aspect ratios.
NePCM,Trapezoidal enclosed medium,Adaptive mesh refinement,Hot cylinders,Melting flow
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