Simulation of PCM Melting Process in a Rectangular Enclosure Differentially Heated
G. Petrone1 G. Cammarata1
1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
This study deals with a numerical investigation of the melting process of a PCM in a rectangular enclosure differentially heated. COMSOL Multiphysics is used in order to numerically solve Navier-Stokes and energy equations in the considered system. Adopting an enthalpy formulation, one single equation is used to solve transient conduction and convection heat transfer in both the solid and liquid phase. The solid-liquid interface location, the liquid flow patterns and the thermal maps obtained for several transient heating conditions well highlight the natural convection effect, enhancing heat transfer in the top portion of the cavity. The results carried-out by simulations are successfully compared with experimental data previously published in literature and concerning an analogue system.