The present article reports on the utilization of multiple granular phase change composites (GPCC) with different ranges of phase change temperatures in a packed bed thermal energy storage system. Small particle diameter of GPCC allows simple mixing of two or three ranges of GPCCs in a packed bed for enhancement of storage unit performance. Experiments have been carried out to characterize the phase changing characteristics of two GPCCs chosen for this purpose. Packed bed column experiments have been carried out to provide basic understanding of the heat transfer process in the composite bed consisting of a mixture of GPCCs at different values of mixing ratio. A mathematical model has been developed for the analysis of charging and discharging process dynamics. Once validated, the model has been used to perform a parametric study to investigate the overall bed performance at different values of mixing ratio and Reynolds number. An optimization of the value of mixing ratio has been obtained based on the overall charging and discharging times as well as the exergy efficiency. It has been demonstrated that, as compared to the use of single GPCC, careful choice of the mixing ratio of GPCCs in a composite bed can result in a significant enhancement of the overall storage unit performance. As compared to the use of multiple sequential layers of GPCCs, using units composed of a mixture of GPCCs with an optimized mixing ratio results in a remarkable improvement of the unit performance without limitations on the charging and discharging directions during practical applications.Energy storage Phase change Packed bed Multiple PCM
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