H. Shabgard, C.W. Robak, T.L. Bergman, A. Faghri, “Heat transfer and exergy analysis of cascaded latent heat storage with gravity-assisted heat pipes for concentrating solar power applications,” Solar Energy, vol. 86, pp. 816 – 830, 2012.
A thermal network model is developed to predict the performance of latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) systems including cascaded phase change materials (PCMs) and embedded heat pipes/thermosyphons. Because the design of LHTES systems involves a compromise between the amount of energy stored, the heat transfer rate, and the quality of the released thermal energy, an exergy analysis is also carried out to identify the preferred LHTES design. It is found that the LHTES with the lowest melting temperature PCM yields the highest exergy efficiency. However, a cascaded LHTES recovers the largest amount of exergy during a 24 h charging–discharging cycle. Quantitatively, the cascaded LHTES recovers about 10% more exergy during a 24 h charging–discharging cycle compared to the best non-cascaded LHTES considered in this work.