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Passive Air Conditioning of Room Using Phase Change Material, ANSYS Fluent

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The present problem simulates phase change material (PCM) for a room passive air conditioning using ANSYS Fluent software.

This product includes a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Description

Project Description

The present problem simulates phase change material (PCM) for a room passive air conditioning using ANSYS Fluent software. In general, phase change materials are materials with organic compounds that can absorb and store large amounts of latent thermal energy. Thermal energy storage in these materials is achieved during the phase change process (solid phase to liquid or vice versa); So that when changing phase from solid to liquid, it absorbs heat from the room environment (causes cooling during hot hours) and returns the heat to the environment when changing phase from liquid to solid (causes heating during hours).

The phase change material studied in this simulation is rubitum-rt20 which has a density equal to 1480 kg.m-3 and a specific heat capacity equal to 2500 j.kg-1.K-1, and a thermal conductivity equal to 0.6 Wm -1.K-1 and viscosity are equal to 0.164428 kg.m-1.s-1. In this simulation, the solidification and melting model is used to define phase change materials. To determine phase change materials, it should be noted that the maximum temperature at which the solid phase temperature is (solidus temperature) is 295.15 K, and the minimum temperature at which the liquid phase is dominant (liquidus temperature) is 297.15 K. And the pure solvent melting heat is defined as 150,000 j.kg-1.

The present model has a section for input flow in its upper part and a section for output flow in its lower part. Airflow with a flow rate of 0.018 kg.s-1 and a temperature of 302.15 K enters the model horizontally and exits at a pressure equal to atmospheric pressure. The simulation was performed unstable in time and with a time step similar to 0.5 s.

Geometry & Mesh

In this project, we have simulated a panel in which there are rows of phase change material. Thermal energy storage in these materials is achieved during the phase change process (solid phase to liquid or vice versa); So that when changing phase from solid to liquid, it absorbs heat from the room environment (causes cooling during hot hours) and returns the heat to the environment when changing phase from liquid to solid (causes heating during hours). This process can help to improve the air conditioning in the room. In the image below, you can see something similar to the geometry of our project. The difference is that instead of image tubes, we used four rectangles containing phase change material.

The present model is designed in two dimensions using Design Modeler software. The model includes a rectangular domain with dimensions of 0.09 m * 0.5 m. Within this computational area, four specific areas for defining phase change material are distinguished.

We carry out the model’s meshing using ANSYS Meshing software, and the mesh type is structured. The element number is 45000. The following figure shows the mesh.

passive air conditioning

Passive Air Conditioning of a Room Applying PCM CFD Simulation

We consider several assumptions to simulate the present model:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is unsteady. Because the purpose of the present work is to study solidification and melting over time.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is ignored.

The following table represents a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution:

Models
Viscous k-epsilon
k-epsilon model RNG
near wall treatment standard wall functions
Solidification and Melting On
mushy zone parameter 100000
Energy On
Boundary conditions
Inlet Mass FlowInlet
mass flow rate 0.018 kg.s-1
temperature 302.15 K
Outlet Pressure Outlet
gauge pressure 0 pascal
Inner Walls Wall
wall motion stationary wall
thermal conditions coupled
wall thickness 0.001 m
Outer Walls Wall
wall motion stationary wall
heat flux 0 W.m-2
Methods
Pressure-Velocity Coupling SIMPLE
Pressure PRESTO
momentum second order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy first order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate first order upwind
energy second order upwind
Initialization
Initialization methods Standard
gauge pressure 0 pascal
x-velocity & y-velocity 0 m.s-1
temperature 300 K

Passive Air Conditioning of a Room Applying PCM, Results & Discussions

At the end of the solution process, two-dimensional contours related to the pressure, velocity, temperature, and mass fraction of the liquid are obtained. Given that the phase change material’s working process is time-dependent, therefore, the transient solver is used, the results are obtained at different times of the simulation process to get the results over time. According to the temperature and mass fraction of the liquid, it can be said that over time, the amount of liquid production increases. The images also show that pressure and velocity stabilize over time and have approximately the same values ​​at different times.

There are a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.

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