CFD MODELING OF HEAT TRANSFER AND HYDRODYNAMICS PROCESSES IN A HEAT STORAGE TANK
Background. Today, heat storage tanks are an integral part of heating systems. However, modern designs of capacitive storage tanks are characterized by the phenomenon of thermocline and high thermal inertia. To minimize the aforementioned disadvantages, it is proposed to use a “thermal core”, for the formation of which it is necessary to select a substance with a high value of heat capacity.
Objective. The purpose of the presented study is to simulate the process of heat and mass transfer in a storage tank with a “thermal core”, in the form of the binary tube located on the central axis, the inter tube space of which is filled with paraffin (a mixture of saturated hydrocarbons with melting point – from 45 °C to 65 °C; dense – 0.880–0.915 g/cm3 at 15 °C).
Methods. Fluent software determines the temperature distribution in the heat storage tank under free convection conditions. The resulting data were then converted into a calculation module of the Transient Thermal software complex ANSYS, where further calculations of the non-stationary temperature distribution of the “thermal core” were carried out.
Results. It is determined that the heat storage tank with a capacity of 1400 liters, heated for one hour by a heat transfer agent with a temperature of 115 °C, is cooled to 50 °C in 4 hours. The analysis of the hydrodynamic structure of the flow based on the distribution of the trajectories of movement of free-convective flows in the water column of the storage tank indicates the need to improve the design of the tank. It is determined that the use of the “thermal core”, regardless of the type of paraffin used for its formation, helps to reduce the stratification of temperature by tank height. The type of paraffin used to form the “heat core” has no significant effect on the cooling time of the heat storage tank as a whole. However, when using “ceresin” as a filler for the “heat core”, the average tank temperature is generally about 0.5 °C higher than for other paraffin types studied. Thus, it is “ceresin” that should be used as a “thermal core”.Conclusions. The result of the calculation of the inhomogeneous temperature field of all elements of the heat storage tank was used to determine the time of its complete cooling. The conducted research allows automating the process of calculation of the storage tanks as well as carrying out their modernization to increase the efficiency of use.
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