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|Title:||Electrohydrodynamic Solidification of Phase Change Materials|
|Keywords:||Electrohydrodynamics;Thermal Storage;Phase Change Materials|
|Abstract:||In this investigation an electric field was applied to a phase change thermal storage system while it was discharging energy. The phase change material used was octadecane. Octadecane is a high purity dielectric material that has a melting temperature close to room temperature. The material was forced to solidify using a heat exchanger mount below the phase change material, cold water flowed through the heat exchanger to ensure it maintained a constant temperature below the melting temperature of the phase change material. By applying -8kV to 9 electrodes – positioned in the phase change material – and by using the heat exchanger as an electrical ground – an electric field was generated in the phase change material. The electric field caused unbalanced body forces in the fluid which generated electro-convection in the fluid. The system was designed such that electro-convection is the only source of convection in the system to isolate the effects of electro-convection, allowing for the underlying physics of electro-convection to be studied easier. To understand the effects of applying electro-convection, a case where there is no applied voltage on the electrodes was compared to a case where there was -8 kV applied to the electrodes. Experiments showed that the effect of applying electro-convection depends on the initial temperature; however, it was found that the improvement after two hours was less than 10%. For a wall temperature of 8.5℃ and an initial temperature of 50℃ - the melting temperate of octadecane is 28℃- then the maximum enhancement of the energy extracted is 50%, but two hours after the start of the test the enhancement approached zero. For a wall temperature of 8.5℃ and an initial temperature of 30℃, the maximum enhancement is 10% and similarly fall to zero after a few hours of application. A simple analytical model was developed. The experimental and numerical results showed that at the early stages of energy discharge the electro-convection case had a large improvement compared to a pure conduction case, however as time progresses this improvement decreases. The explanation for the trend is that adding convection only increases the rate that energy is taken out of the liquid, thus the maximum improvement is bounded by the amount of sensible energy in the liquid phase change material, once this sensible energy is removed applying electrohydrodynamics is no longer beneficial.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Thompson_Eric_L_201709_M.A.Sc.pdf||8.54 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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