Experimental investigation on phase change material based thermal storage system for solar air heating applications

S. Esakkimuthu, Abdelhakim Hassabou, C. Palaniappan, Markus Spinnler, Jurgen Blumenberg, R. Velraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)


Many types of solar air heaters have been developed in India and their performance has been studied in detail. In solar dryers the drying process largely depends on the varying local weather conditions, resulting in a poor quality of the dried product. To eliminate the fluctuations in the temperature of the hot air, solar collectors are integrated with the Phase Change Material (PCM) based thermal storage unit. The present study is aimed at investigating the feasibility of using a latent heat storage unit with HS 58, an inorganic salt based phase change material, to store the excess solar energy, and release it when the energy availability is inadequate during poor weather conditions, and to extend the period of utilisation beyond the sunshine hours. Experiments were conducted to evaluate the charging and discharging characteristics of the storage unit. The effects of inlet flow rate during the charging and discharging processes were measured and reported. For the storage tank configuration and PCM ball size considered in the present investigation, the mass flow rate of 200. kg/h is able to provide a near uniform rate of heat transfer during charging and discharging processes. Further, low mass flow rate is able to utilise the maximum capacity of the storage system and to supply heat for a longer duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-153
Number of pages10
JournalSolar Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • Charging and discharging
  • Latent heat
  • Packed bed
  • Phase change material
  • Solar air heater
  • Thermal energy storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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