Investigation of high capacity heat energy storage for building applications

Ding, Yate (2014) Investigation of high capacity heat energy storage for building applications. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The problems of excessive consumption of fossil resources, oil shortages and greenhouse gas emissions are becoming increasingly severe. Research and development work on new methods of thermal energy storage are imminently required. To effectively store seasonal renewable energy, a novel high capacity heat storage system has been designed and evaluated/validated through laboratory experiments and numerical simulations in this research. The system is driven by direct flow evacuated tube solar collector with enhanced PCM tank and intends to be applied in residential and commercial buildings.

Theoretical and experimental approaches and numerical analysis have been employed in this study. Firstly, phase change materials (PCM) with specific heat density, melting point, melting and solidifying time have been investigated. This type of PCMs can maintain a considerable high internal temperature of environment chamber in a frozen ambient temperature. Numerical modelling has been conducted on a passive house (Nottingham H.O.U.S.E) to study whether proposed thermochemical materials can cover relative heating load and be power by solar panel in terms of roof size. Meanwhile, PCMs have been used to give a long duration for temperature-controlled chamber in laboratory, and thermochemical materials have been utilized in closed pumping pipe system for cooling and heating purpose.

Secondly, characteristic experiments have been conducted on a modified solar collector working with an enhanced PCM tank that is integrated with a fan coil heat exchanger. The results show that light radiation of tungsten lamps (as a solar simulator) has approximately 70% efficiency to equate to solar radiation under the same Pyranometer reading value. At the same time, the solar system can supply over 50°C heating energy and the PCM tank within it can supply higher output temperature with longer duration than water tank. The efficiency of the whole solar collector heating system is over 50% as a heat absorption chamber in sunny days, while only approximately 10% under mostly cloudy weather.

Lastly, proposed thermochemical materials (silica gel, calcium chloride, zeolite 13x, vermiculite and activated carbon) have been evaluated on designed thermochemical absorption chamber to supply fresh high temperature air for space heating. The results show that zeolite holds the highest reacted temperature (over 58°C) and vermiculite has really fast absorbing hydration duration, less than half hour. Silica gel possesses the biggest water absorbing capacity and vermiculite has a worse result. A comparison between experimental and numerical modelling results has been revealed. Considering the complexity of processes in cooling and heating system, the agreement of simulation and experimentation is satisfactory, thus the lumped numerical model is acceptable and significant for investigation of this scaled seasonal high capacity heat storage system.

A full size seasonal heat storage system with a nominal heating capacity of 3kW has been proposed and illustrated in economic and environmental issues section. The results from net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) sensitivity analysis both shows it is greatly attractive to develop this novel system for application in both household and commercial buildings in consideration of its about 9 years payback period, 20 years life span and zero gas (C02) emissions. An intelligent transpired solar collector system is also introduced and illustrated as future work.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Agyenim, F.
Riffat, S.B.
Keywords: Heat storage devices, Solar collectors, Phase change materials, Thermochemical materials
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > TJ807 Renewable energy sources
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 30955
Depositing User: Blore, Mrs Kathryn
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2015 09:21
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 08:07

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