THERMAL RESISTANCE NETWORK MODEL FOR HEAT PIPE – PCM BASED COOL STORAGE SYSTEM
A robust system configuration is determined to design and integrate an innovative heat pipe – PCM based cool storage system as supplemental dry cooling for air cooled condensers. Due to the complexity of the full scale system, a unique thermal resistance network model is developed to determine the thermal performance and overall capital cost for optimization of component design parameters. The development of this design tool is necessary to obtain practical thermal performance and capital cost information below $150/kWth given an energy storage capacity requirement. To enable this analysis, transient numerical modeling using fundamental thermal resistance calculations and thermosyphon dynamics was implemented. Validation of the numerical model is done through a system comparison with ANSYS Fluent. Optimization results through parametric studies have demonstrated applicable designs capable for effective heat transfer utilization into and out of the phase change material and within cost constraints. Given a target energy storage capacity goal, optimal sizing trends of design parameters is determined. The influence of thermosyphon and fin sizing and number on system performance has been demonstrated as critical parameters in overall system configuration.