Phase change materials (PCMs) have several advantages for thermal energy storage due to their high energy storage density and nearly constant working temperature. Unfortunately, the low thermal conductivity of PCM impedes its efficiency of charging and discharging processes. To solve this issue, different techniques are developed to enhance the heat transfer capability of PCMs. In this chapter, the common approaches, which include the use of extended internal fins, porous matrices or metal foams, high thermal conductivity nanoparticles, and heat pipes for enhancing the heat transfer rate of PCMs, are presented in details. In addition, mathematical modeling plays a significant role in clarifying the PCM melting and solidification mechanisms and directs the experiments. As a powerful mesoscopic numerical approach, the enthalpy-based lattice Boltzmann method (LBM), which is robust to investigate the solid-liquid phase change phenomenon without iteration of source terms, is also introduced in this chapter, and its applications in latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) unit using different heat transfer enhancement techniques are discussed.
Part of the book: Thermal Energy Battery with Nano-enhanced PCM