Thermal protection characteristics of a vertical rectangular cell filled with PCM/air layer

C. J. Ho, C. H. Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper presents a numerical analysis concerning thermal protection characteristics of a vertical rectangular composite cell filled with a solid-liquid phase change material (PCM) and air layer. Inside the composite cell the PCM layer is separated from air layer by a solid partition of negligible thickness. The buoyancy-induced flows developed in both the air-filled layer and the molten PCM zone inside the PCM layer were modeled as two-dimensional laminar Newtonian fluid flow adhering to the Boussinesq approximation. Meanwhile, two-dimensional conduction heat transfer was accounted for the unmelted solid PCM region. Delineation is made via a parametric simulation of the effects of the pertinent parameters: Ste (Stefan number), Sc (subcooling factor), Ra (Rayleigh number), aspect ratio of composite cell, A, and relative thickness ratio Ap/Aa, on the transient thermal protection performance of the composite cell. Results demonstrate that by means of the latent-heat absorption inside the PCM layer, heat penetration across the composite cell can be greatly retarded over an effective duration until a critical instant until the melting front of PCM reaches the partition wall. Such an effective thermal protection duration is found to be a strong function of Ra, Ste, Ap/Aa, and A. In addition, the results of the transient heat transfer rate penetrating through the composite cell are examined as a function of the pertinent parameters of the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalHeat and Mass Transfer/Waerme- und Stoffuebertragung
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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