Usage of phase change materials’ (PCMs) latent heat has been investigated as a promising method for thermal energy storage applications. However, one of the most common disadvantages of using latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) is the low thermal conductivity of PCMs. This issue affects the rate of energy storage (charging/discharging) in PCMs. Many researchers have proposed different methods to cope with this problem in thermal energy storage. In this paper, a tubular heat pipe as a super heat conductor to increase the charging/discharging rate was investigated. The temperature of PCM, liquid fraction observations, and charging and discharging rates are reported. Heat pipe effectiveness was defined and used to quantify the relative performance of heat pipe-assisted PCM storage systems. Both experimental and numerical investigations were performed to determine the efficiency of the system in thermal storage enhancement. The proposed system in the charging/discharging process significantly improved the energy transfer between a water bath and the PCM in the working temperature range of 50◦ C to 70◦ C.
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- Energy storage
- Heat pipe
- Latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES)
- Phase change material (PCM)