Optimization of the PCM-integrated solar domestic hot water system under different thermal stratification conditions

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Mechanical Engineering Department, K.N. Toosi University of Technology Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Many researchers have investigated how to increase the overall efficiency of solar-driven thermal systems. Several key parameters, such as collector efficiency and storage tank characteristics, may impose some constraints on the annual solar fraction (ASF) of such systems. In this paper, the behaviour of integrating the phase change material (PCM) in SDHW systems is modelled and optimized numerically. Coupled collector and partly stratified PCM-embedded storage tank governing equations are utilized to simulate the overall performance of the system. The developed code presents the monthly behaviour of the system including the solar fraction and the storage tank temperature profile. The results indicate that the stratification of the storage tank will increase the ASF up to about 4.6%. Additionally, it is found that the optimum amount for the PCM and its melting temperature is changed as the tank stratification goes from the fully mixed to the fully stratified state. Integrating the PCM in the storage tank leads to increases of 5.3% in the ASF for a single-node tank, while a rise of only 0.7% is seen for the stratified storage tank.


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