The quality of phase change material (PCM) employed determines the thermal behavior of latent heat storage systems (LHSS). In this paper, the behavioral aspects, related to the storage characteristics of PCMs, are evaluated numerically using COMSOL Multiphysics®4.3a software. Experiments are also conducted to validate the numerical results. Paraffin-based nanofluid seeded with 4% copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles, as phase changing material, is studied to evaluate the effect of nanoparticles addition on the storage qualities of the LHSS. It was observed that with 4% CuO nanoparticle seeding, the rate of melting and solidification get enhanced by 1.7 times and 1.8 times respectively compared to pure paraffin-filled LHSS. It was observed that with addition of 4% CuO nanoparticles, the density, viscosity and thermal conductivities is increased by about 29%, 18.3%, 55% respectively compared to base material (i.e., pure paraffin). However, the latent and sensible heats get reduced by 26% and 18.5% respectively. In addition, seeding of CuO reduces the charging time by 70% compared to the LHSS based on pure paraffin.
Keywords: Dispersion, CuO nanoparticles, Latent heat storage, Melt fraction