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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhff

in microchannels

Awad B.S. Alquaity a, Salem A. Al-Dini a, Evelyn N. Wang b, Bekir S. Yilbas a,⇑

a

Department of Mechanical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

b

Device Research Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: A numerical solution is introduced to investigate the effect of laminar ﬂow with a suspension of phase

Received 10 February 2012 change material nanoparticles (PCMs) in a microchannel. The nanoparticle suspension consisting of lauric

Received in revised form 20 June 2012 acid nanoparticles in water is introduced into a microchannel of 50 lm height and 35 mm length, where a

Accepted 9 October 2012

constant heat ﬂux is applied to the bottom wall. Mass, momentum and energy equations are solved

Available online 3 November 2012

simultaneously using a ﬂuid with effective thermo-physical properties. The effect of various parameters

including mass ﬂow rate (1 105–4 105 kg/s), heat ﬂux (8000–20,000 W/m2) and particle volume

Keywords:

concentrations (0–10%) on the thermal performance is investigated using effectiveness ratio, perfor-

Microchannel

Phase change material

mance index, and Merit number. The study is extended to include the optimum channel length for

Nanoparticles improved thermal performance. For a given particle concentration, an optimum heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow

Laminar ﬂow rate ratio exists that leads to the maximum effectiveness ratio of 2.75, performance index of 1.37 and

Merit number of 0.64. Such a study facilitates understanding the parametric space to optimize heat trans-

fer in microchannels for applications such as thermal management and energy conversion devices.

Ó 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction 1999; Rao et al., 2007; Wang et al., 2007, 2008; Chen et al., 2008;

Zeng et al., 2009). More recently, interest in the thermal perfor-

The development of next generation microchips, microproces- mance of PCM slurries in microchannels have emerged for applica-

sors and other small scale high heat generating applications is tions in microchannel heat exchangers and cooling of electronic

constrained by the issue of effective heat removal (Sabbah et al., devices (Sabbah et al., 2008; Xing et al., 2005; Kondle et al., 2009;

2008). The cooling capacity required to reach switching speeds Kuravi et al., 2009, 2010). Sabbah et al. (2008) performed a three-

needed for next generation computing devices is of the order of dimensional numerical study on the performance of microchannel

105 W/cm3 which cannot be met by current liquid cooling systems heat sinks using micro-encapsulated PCMs and considered the ther-

including microchannel heat sinks (Xing et al., 2005). A promising mal resistance of the heat sink walls while incorporating tempera-

method to meet the electronic cooling demands for next generation ture dependent physical properties for the PCM slurry. Xing et al.

devices, by enhancing heat storage capacity of the heat transfer (2005) evaluated the performance of liquid ﬂow with PCM particles

ﬂuid, is to introduce PCM particles in the ﬂuid. The phase change in circular microchannels. The conservation equations for the parti-

of the PCM particles in the ﬂuid signiﬁcantly enhances its heat stor- cle and liquid phase were solved separately while considering the

age capacity and thus increases its ability to absorb high heat ﬂuxes. effects of particle–particle interaction and the particle depletion

Therefore, a quantitative assessment of the heat storage capacity boundary near the wall. A particular Reynolds number and wall

increase of the ﬂuid in a microchannel ﬂow with the presence of heat ﬂux was found to achieve maximum heat transfer enhance-

particles becomes essential. In addition to the heat storage capacity ment with PCM particles. Kondle et al. (2009) numerically studied

increase, it is also necessary to determine the effect of particles on heat transfer characteristics of PCMs in a laminar ﬂow for circular

the pressure drop and entropy generation inside the microchannel. and rectangular microchannels. The carrier ﬂuid and particles were

Signiﬁcant efforts have focused on using PCMs for improving the modeled using homogeneous model while a speciﬁc heat model

thermal performance of the carrier ﬂuid in the past decade (Sabbah was used for the phase change of particles. Kuravi et al. (2009) used

et al., 2008; Xing et al., 2005; Kondle et al., 2009; Kuravi et al., 2009, a similar homogeneous model to study numerically the thermal

2010; Goel et al., 1994; Roy and Avanic, 1997; Yamagishi et al., performance of nano-encapsulated PCM slurry in microchannels.

The temperature and velocity ﬁelds were obtained in three dimen-

⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +966 3 8604481; fax: +966 3 860 5223. sional domain and the model included the microchannel ﬁn effect

E-mail address: bsyilbas@kfupm.edu.sa (B.S. Yilbas). along with the longitudinal conduction along the microchannel

0142-727X/$ - see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatﬂuidﬂow.2012.10.001

160 A.B.S. Alquaity et al. / International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 38 (2012) 159–167

Nomenclature

C volume concentration of nanoparticles T temperature (K)

cp speciﬁc heat (J kg1 K1) Tref reference temperature taken as 298 K

cp,S speciﬁc heat of particles in solid state (J kg1 K1) Tsolidus lower melting temperature (K)

cp,L speciﬁc heat of particles in liquid state (J kg1 K1) Tliquidus upper melting temperature (K)

Dh hydraulic diameter of the microchannel (m) U x component of velocity (m s1)

I_ rate of irreversibility (W) V velocity (m s1)

K thermal conductivity (W m1 K1)

L latent heat of melting of particles (J kg1) Greek symbols

m_ mass ﬂow rate (kg s1) l dynamic viscosity (N s m2)

P pressure (Pa) P density (kg m3)

Prb Prandtl number, Prb ¼ cpb lb =kb

q00 heat ﬂux (W m2) Subscripts

Q heat transfer rate (W) B bulk ﬂuid

Reb Reynolds number, Reb ¼ qb v Dh =lb F carrier ﬂuid

S000

gen volumetric entropy generation (W m3 K1) p particle

S000

gen;av g averaged volumetric entropy generation rate (W m3 -

K1)

length. Kuravi et al. (2010) investigated the heat transfer perfor- 2. Model framework

mance of water-based microencapsulated PCM slurry in manifold

microchannels both experimentally and numerically. Their ﬁndings A schematic of the microchannel incorporated in the model

revealed that the slurry performance was poorer as compared to study is shown in Fig. 1. In this case, a microchannel of constant

single ﬂuid. They also performed a parametric study with nano- height (50 lm, H) and length (35,000 lm, L) is deﬁned in the FLU-

encapsulated PCM slurry ﬂow. The results of the parametric study ENT™ simulations. For 3D simulations, width of the microchannel

showed that using narrower channels and PCM particles with is considered to be 2 mm, which is 40 times the microchannel

higher thermal conductivity improved the thermal performance height. The carrier ﬂuid with nanosized particles is assumed to en-

of PCM slurry as compared to a single ﬂuid. The laminar hydrody- ter into the microchannel at a temperature just below the melting

namic and heat transfer characteristics of suspension ﬂow with temperature of the particles. A constant heat ﬂux is applied at the

micro-nano-size phase-change material (PCM) particles in a micro- bottom wall, which heats the carrier ﬂuid and particles. After tra-

channel were investigated by Hao and Tao (2006). They indicated versing a certain length of the microchannel, the particles undergo

that the heat transfer enhancement took place in wall region due phase change. The phase change of the particles plays an important

to the presence of PCM particles. Liquid–liquid two-phase ﬂow in role in decreasing the temperature rise of the ﬂuid as compared to

pore array microstructured devices for scaling-up of nanoparticle the case with no phase change particles in the ﬂow system and

preparation was examined by Li et al. (2009). The ﬁndings revealed thereby increases the thermal storage capacity of the ﬂuid.

that the particle size was decreased with the increase of the droplet In order to formulate the ﬂow and heat transfer problem, the

size in both the drop ﬂow region and the disk ﬂow region whereas it following assumptions were made:

had a reverse trend in the transition region. Although signiﬁcant

studies using homogeneous model have been performed in the The ﬂow of the bulk ﬂuid inside the microchannel is steady and

past, none of them have presented the entropy generation due to laminar.

the addition of PCM particles. For this purpose, we have deﬁned The ﬂuid is Newtonian up to particle volume concentrations of

the Merit number to incorporate the thermodynamic irreversibility 10% (Kuravi et al., 2009).

in the ﬂow system. Moreover, in this paper, we have performed a The shell encapsulating nanoparticles will be thin, so its effect

comprehensive study of the inﬂuence of various parameters, has been neglected (Kuravi et al., 2009).

including mass ﬂow rate, heat ﬂux, and particle volume concentra- The particles and carrier ﬂuid are assumed to have the same

tions, on the thermal performance of the slurry. We use water as the temperature and velocity in the microchannel (Kuravi et al.,

carrier ﬂuid and lauric acid as the PCM particles with different vol- 2009).

ume concentrations ranging from 0% to 10% in the analysis. Homo- The distribution of particles inside the microchannel is homoge-

geneous model was used to simulate temperature and ﬂow ﬁelds. neous (Kuravi et al., 2009).

The thermo-physical properties of the PCM particles are assumed The PCM particle melts instantaneously once the melting tem-

to be constant during the simulations and are given in Table 1. perature is reached (Kuravi et al., 2009).

The thermo-physical properties of carrier ﬂuid are assumed to be

temperature dependent. 2.1. Homogeneous model

Thermophysical properties of PCM particles. solved using the appropriate effective thermo-physical properties

Fluid Density Speciﬁc heat Latent heat Thermal of the bulk ﬂuid. The equations governing laminar ﬂow for the bulk

(kg/m3) (kJ/kg K) (kJ/kg) conductivity ﬂuid are shown below:

(W/m K) Continuity equation:

Particle (solid) 1007 1.76 211 0.147

Particle (liquid) 862 2.27 – 0.147 v ¼0

r~ ð1Þ

A.B.S. Alquaity et al. / International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 38 (2012) 159–167 161

Fig. 1. Schematic of microchannel used in the FLUENT simulations where heat ﬂux is applied to the bottom wall, and H is the microchannel height, L is the microchannel

length. The side walls are assumed to be adiabatic.

v Þ ¼ rp þ lb r2 v

v~

r ðqb~ ð2Þ

c þc L

c q p;S 2 p;L þ T þ ð1 cÞðqcp Þf

liquidus T solidus p

Energy equation: cpb ¼ ð8Þ

qb

v cpb TÞ ¼ r ðkb rTÞ

r ðqb~ ð3Þ For T P > T liquidus :

cpb ¼ ð9Þ

qb

2.2.1. Viscosity

The mass ﬂow rate of the bulk ﬂuid at the inlet was varied

The introduction of 50 nm diameter of PCM nanoparticles into

between 105 kg/s and 4 105 kg/s. The heat ﬂux at the bottom

the carrier ﬂuid increases its viscosity. The bulk viscosity is calcu-

wall of the microchannel was varied between 8000 W/m2 and

lated as (Vand, 1945):

20,000 W/m2. The temperature of the particles and carrier ﬂuid is

315 K at the inlet, which is less than the melting temperature of

lb ¼ ð1 c 1:16c2 Þ2:5 lf ð4Þ the PCM particles. At the microchannel outlet, pressure outlet

The above correlation for bulk viscosity was found to agree well boundary condition is considered. The pressure outlet boundary

with experimental data presented in (Fang et al., 2009) for nanopar- condition assumes an absolute pressure of 1 atm at the outlet

ticle volume concentrations below 11%. and zero diffusion ﬂuxes in the direction normal to the exit plane

for all ﬂow variables (i.e., the velocity and temperature) except

2.2.2. Thermal conductivity pressure.

The Maxwell model (Maxwell, 1954) is used for calculating the

bulk thermal conductivity, which is:

3. Numerical solution

2 þ kp =kf þ 2cðkp =kf 1Þ

kb ¼ kf ð5Þ

2 þ kp =kf cðkp =kf 1Þ The control volume approach is used for the discretization of

governing equations using FLUENT 12.1.2 C.F.D. code (FLUENT,

Recently a benchmark experimental study was carried out to

2010). All variables are computed at each grid point except the

measure the effective thermal conductivity of nanoﬂuids. The

velocities, which are determined midway between the grid points.

study concluded that the effective medium theory developed for

A staggered grid arrangement is used in the present study, which

dispersed particles by Maxwell (1954) is in good agreement with

links the pressure through the continuity equation and is known

the experimental data (Buongiorno et al., 2009).

as SIMPLE algorithm (Patankar, 1980). The pressure relationship

between continuity and momentum is established by transforming

2.2.3. Density

the continuity equation into a Poisson equation for pressure. The

The density of the bulk ﬂuid can be calculated using mass bal-

convergence criterion for the scaled residuals is set to 106 for con-

ance as (Sabbah et al., 2008):

tinuity and 109 for energy equation. Further, surface monitor of

temperature at the outlet was used to ensure convergence. Second

qb ¼ cqp þ ð1 cÞqf ð6Þ

order upwind schemes were used for discretization of momentum

and energy equations.

2.2.4. Speciﬁc heat

In order to account for the phase change of the particles, a spe- 3.1. Grid

ciﬁc heat model is used (Kondle et al., 2009). In the speciﬁc heat

model, the particle’s phase change is modeled by varying the A numerical mesh generator was used to create the geometry

speciﬁc heat capacity of the particles across the solidus and the liq- and mesh the domain using hexahedral elements. A ﬁne mesh

uidus temperatures. Since the melting temperature of lauric acid is was created near the walls to capture the large gradients normal

317.2 K, the melting range of PCM particles is assumed to 316.7– to the ﬂow direction. Three different grid resolutions, 20

317.7 K. The speciﬁc heat of the bulk ﬂuid can be calculated using 14,000 (Grid 1), 35 18,000 (Grid 2) and 50 35,000 (Grid 3) were

the energy balance (Sabbah et al., 2008): used to obtain a grid-independent solution. The maximum differ-

For T p < T solidus : ence in Nusselt between the three grids was 0.14. Therefore, Grid

2 was used for further simulations. After the grid independence

cðqcp;S Þp þ ð1 cÞðqcp Þf test, Grid 2 was also validated against analytical Nusselt number

cpb ¼ ð7Þ and fanning friction factor results for 2D parallel plate subjected

qb

to constant heat ﬂux boundary condition at the top and bottom

162 A.B.S. Alquaity et al. / International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 38 (2012) 159–167

Table 2

Comparison between constant properties and temperature dependent properties.

properties dependant properties difference (%)

DT (K) 33.69 33.7 0.04

DP (Pa) 10621.7 8193.8 29.6

the order of 2%, while the numerical value of friction factor

matched exactly with that of the analytical value.

properties are used for the carrier ﬂuid. Table 2 shows a compari-

son of the temperature rise and pressure drop in case of using con-

stant thermo-physical properties and temperature dependent Fig. 3. Comparison of Nusselt number obtained using homogeneous model with

thermo-physical properties. The temperature rise shows a negligi- experimental data (Chen et al., 2008).

ble difference in both cases, but the use of constant properties

leads to pressure drop being over-estimated by about 30%. The

high pressure drop caused by using constant thermo-physical It can be observed that the wall temperature predicted by the

properties is due to the viscosity of water, which is highly depen- current model compares well with experimental data.

dent on temperature. The signiﬁcant over-estimation of pressure Fig. 3 compares the Nusselt number for two Reynolds number

drop motivates performing simulations using temperature depen- and Stefan number combinations, i.e., Reynolds numbers of 691

dent properties for the carrier ﬂuid despite the longer computation and 1418, and Stefan numbers of 1.09 and 1.38. It can be observed

time. that the Nusselt number predicted by the current homogeneous

model compares well with the experimental data.

3.3. Model validation The non-dimensional length used in Fig. 3 is deﬁned as:

2x

Due to the lack of comparable experimental data for PCM slurry xþ ¼ ð11Þ

Dh Reb Prb

ﬂow in microchannels, the homogeneous model used in this study

is validated through comparing the predictions with the experi- where Reb is Reynolds number and Prb is the Prandtl number of the

mental data obtained for PCM slurry ﬂow in a 3.14 mm diameter bulk ﬂuid.

circular tube (Goel et al., 1994) and in a 4 mm diameter circular

tube (Wang et al., 2008). Fig. 2 shows the comparison of wall tem-

4. Results and discussion

perature for Stefan number of 3 predicted using homogeneous

model with the experimental data for 10% particle volume concen-

We investigated the effect of particle volume concentration,

tration. Stefan number is deﬁned as the ratio of sensible heat

mass ﬂow rate and heat ﬂux on the thermal performance of bulk

capacity of the slurry to its latent heat capacity and is given as

ﬂuid inside the microchannel. The effectiveness ratio (Xing et al.,

(Goel et al., 1994):

2005), performance index (Xing et al., 2005), and Merit number

cpb q00 Dh qb are used, where the heat ﬂux applied to different volume concen-

Ste ¼ ð10Þ

2kb cLqp trations of PCM ﬂuids is the same, while the heat ﬂux applied to

water is varied to maintain the same temperature rise as that of

PCM ﬂuid. This approach helps compare the heat transfer increase

in the PCM slurry for the same temperature rise as that of water.

Fig. 4 shows temperature contours along the channel length for

the case with no PCM particles and with 10% particle volume con-

centration. The temperature contours shown in the ﬁgures corre-

spond to the case of mass ﬂow rate of 4 105 kg/s and heat ﬂux

of 16,000 W/m2. It can be observed from the ﬁgures that increasing

the concentration of PCM particles contributes to temperature de-

crease in the channel towards the channel exit by 4.12 K (61%

reduction in temperature), which is attributed to the latent heat

of fusion associated with the phase change of the PCM particles.

rate of bulk ﬂuid to the heat transfer rate of carrier ﬂuid for the

same temperature rise from inlet to exit of the microchannel.

Therefore, the effectiveness ratio gives an indication of the increase

in heat transfer of the PCM slurry for the same temperature rise as

Fig. 2. Comparison of wall temperature obtained using homogeneous model with that of the carrier ﬂuid. For applications having restriction on tem-

experimental data (Goel et al., 1994). perature rise of the heat transfer ﬂuid, effectiveness ratio can be

A.B.S. Alquaity et al. / International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 38 (2012) 159–167 163

obtained by using PCM particles in the carrier ﬂuid. The effective-

ness ratio is deﬁned as (Xing et al., 2005):

Qb

eeffectiv eness ¼ ð12Þ

Qf

where

_ p;f DT f

Q f ¼ mc ð14Þ

For the same carrier ﬂuid and bulk ﬂuid mass ﬂow rates, the

effectiveness ratio simply reduces to a ratio of their average

speciﬁc heats. Fig. 5 shows the variation of effectiveness ratio with

heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio for different particle volume con-

centrations of PCM particles. Initially, the effectiveness ratio in-

creases with increasing heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio of PCM

slurry and keeps increasing until it reaches a peak value. Further

Fig. 5. Variation of effectiveness ratio with ratio of heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate of

increase in heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio decreases the effective-

PCM slurry, where VF 3, VF 5, VF 7 and VF 10 represents 3%, 5%, 7% and 10% volume

ness ratio. The heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio required to reach concentration of the particles, respectively.

the peak effectiveness ratio value increases with increasing volume

concentration of particles. Moreover, for higher volume concentra-

tion of PCM particles, the peak value of effectiveness ratio is higher. tio, increase in heat ﬂux is reﬂected in an increase in the value of

This trend in the effectiveness ratio can be explained as follows: effectiveness ratio. The effectiveness ratio keeps increasing with

For a given mass ﬂow rate, the effectiveness ratio is the highest increasing heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio until enough heat ﬂux

when the ratio of latent heat to sensible heat of the bulk ﬂuid in the is applied to complete the melting of PCM particles within the

microchannel is the largest. The maximum value of latent heat to length of the microchannel. The heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio re-

sensible heat ratio occurs when the particles reach the liquidus quired for complete phase change of PCM particles is larger for

temperature (upper melting temperature) at the exit of the micro- higher volume concentration of particles in the carrier ﬂuid. Further

channel. This ensures that sensible heating occurs only near the in- increase in heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio leads to an increase in

let of the microchannel, and, thus, the latent heat ratio is the the sensible heating of PCM particles after their phase change, and

maximum. For low heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio values, the thus the effectiveness ratio starts to reduce. Consequently, the

phase change of PCM particles is not complete due to the low value effectiveness ratio increases initially, reaches a peak value and,

of heat ﬂux applied. Therefore, at low heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ra- then, decreases for all volume concentration of PCM particles.

164 A.B.S. Alquaity et al. / International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 38 (2012) 159–167

particle volume concentration of 10%. The corresponding value of

effectiveness ratio indicates that for the same temperature rise,

the bulk ﬂuid at the given operating condition can store 2.75 times

the heat ﬂux, which is stored by carrier ﬂuid. From Fig. 5 we can

conclude that for a given volume concentration of particles, there

exists a heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio at which the effectiveness

ratio is maximum. A similar observation was presented in (Xing

et al., 2005).

rate to ﬂuid pumping power of bulk ﬂuid to the heat transfer rate

to ﬂuid pumping power of carrier ﬂuid. Since the pumping power

required for heat transfer ﬂuids is an important criterion in thermal

management applications, the performance index enables the de-

signer to evaluate the increase in heat transfer rate of the PCM slur-

ry in comparison to the increase in its pumping power requirement. Fig. 6. Variation of performance index with ratio of heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate of

Since the ﬂow ﬁeld considered is laminar, the pressure drop in the PCM slurry, where VF 3, VF 5, VF 7 and VF 10 represents 3%, 5%, 7% and 10% volume

concentration of the particles, respectively.

channel is associated with the frictional loss, which is directly re-

lated to the pump power requirements. Since the effectiveness ratio

only helps the designer in quantifying the increase in heat transfer

rate ratio is high, the increase in effectiveness ratio due to increase

due to the addition of PCM particles, the performance index gives a

in volume concentration of particles is not signiﬁcant due to in-

more complete picture of the situation as it incorporates the in-

crease in the sensible heating of the bulk ﬂuid inside the micro-

crease in pumping power requirement in addition to the increase

channel. Therefore, when the increase in effectiveness ratio is

in heat transfer obtained due to the addition of PCM particles. The

unable to offset the increase in pressure drop of the bulk ﬂuid,

performance index is deﬁned as (Xing et al., 2005):

the performance index decreases. This results in bulk ﬂuid with

ðQ=PÞb high particle volume concentrations having a lower performance

Performance index ¼ ð15Þ index as observed in Fig. 6.

ðQ =PÞf

A performance index below unity indicates that the heat trans-

where the pumping power of the bulk ﬂuid and carrier ﬂuid are de- fer rate per ﬂuid pumping power for the bulk ﬂuid is lower than

ﬁned, respectively as: the carrier ﬂuid and, therefore, the bulk ﬂuid should not be used

under these operating conditions. For 3% volume concentration of

Pb ¼ Dpb V b Aflow ð16Þ

particles in the slurry, the performance index of the bulk ﬂuid for

all heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratios is below unity (Fig. 6), indicat-

Pf ¼ Dpf V f Aflow ð17Þ

ing that the use of bulk ﬂuid entails a lower heat transfer rate to

ﬂuid pumping power ratio, as compared to water. Moreover,

32Lqf V 2f Fig. 6 reveals that the performance index of the bulk ﬂuid contain-

Dpf ¼ ð18Þ

Ref D ing 5%, 7% and 10% volume concentrations exceeds unity only

within a range of heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio.

Fig. 6 shows the variation of performance index with heat ﬂux

The maximum performance index of 1.37 is obtained for parti-

to mass ﬂow rate ratio for different particle volume concentrations

cle volume concentration of 10%. The performance index follows a

of PCM slurry. The performance index initially increases with

similar trend as effectiveness ratio for a given particle volume con-

increasing heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio, reaches a peak value

centration. From the above discussion, it can be concluded that for

and then decreases. The performance index for each particle vol-

a given volume concentration of particles, there exists a heat ﬂux

ume concentration follows the same trend as effectiveness ratio

to mass ﬂow rate ratio at which the performance index is the max-

with the same value of the optimum heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ra-

imum. A similar observation was also made in (Xing et al., 2005).

tio. However, at high heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio, the perfor-

mance index of the bulk ﬂuid with higher volume concentration of

particles is lower than the performance index for lower volume 4.3. Merit number

concentrations. The behavior of bulk ﬂuid with higher particle vol-

ume concentrations having a lower performance index, compared The thermal conductivity of the bulk ﬂuid decreases due to the

to bulk ﬂuid with lower particle volume concentrations, is associ- addition of PCM particles into the carrier ﬂuid. Further, the addi-

ated with increase in temperature of the bulk ﬂuid, which causes tion of PCM particles increases the viscosity of the bulk ﬂuid, there-

sharp decrease in viscosity. A larger temperature rise inside the by, increasing the pressure drop in the microchannel. The decrease

microchannel translates to a lower pressure drop compared to in thermal conductivity and increase in pressure drop contribute to

the case in which a lower temperature rise of bulk ﬂuid inside an increase in the entropy generation rate inside the microchannel.

the microchannel is encountered. The use of bulk ﬂuid with high However, increase in volume concentration of particles increases

particle concentrations suppresses the temperature rise as well the heat ﬂux than can be absorbed by the bulk ﬂuid for a given

as increases the viscosity of the bulk ﬂuid due to the presence of temperature rise. Therefore, Merit number is introduced to calcu-

high particle concentrations. The reduction in temperature rise is late the ratio of the gain versus input and losses due to the addition

due to the phase change of the particles inside the microchannel, of particles. The Merit number takes into account the entropy

which increases the effectiveness ratio with increasing particle vol- generation rate due to ﬂuid friction and heat transfer caused by

ume concentration, however, this also results in an increase in the the addition of PCM particles. It is deﬁned as the ratio of the gain

pressure drop of the bulk ﬂuid. When the heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow in heat transfer due to the use of PCM particles to the sum of heat

A.B.S. Alquaity et al. / International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 38 (2012) 159–167 165

" 2 # 2

2

kb @T @T lb @u

S000

gen ¼ 2 þ þ ð22Þ

T @x @y T @y

ﬂow rate ratio for different particle volume concentrations. The

Merit number follows the same trend as effectiveness ratio with

the same value of optimum heat ﬂux for a given particle volume

concentration. The Merit number of the bulk ﬂuid with 10% volume

concentration of particles is the highest for all heat ﬂux to mass

ﬂow rate ratios considered in the simulations and it shows that

the increase in irreversibility due to the addition of PCM particles

is being offset by the gain in heat transfer for all heat ﬂux to mass

ﬂow rate ratios considered. While the performance index compares

the heat ﬂux to pumping power ratio for PCM slurry with the heat

ﬂux to pumping power ratio for carrier ﬂuid only, the Merit num-

ber provides a comparison between the gain in heat transfer and

irreversibility due to different volume concentrations of PCM par-

ticles. The irreversibility takes into account the decrease in thermal

Fig. 7. Variation of Merit number with ratio of heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate of PCM conductivity as well as the increase in ﬂuid friction caused by the

slurry, where VF 3, VF 5, VF 7 and VF 10 represents 3%, 5%, 7% and 10% volume addition of PCM particles to the carrier ﬂuid. Therefore, the Perfor-

concentration of the particles, respectively.

mance Index includes the effect of increase in pressure drop only,

while the Merit number takes into account the effect of increase in

pressure drop as well as decrease in thermal conductivity of the

transferred at the bottom wall of the microchannel and the irre- bulk ﬂuid. The highest Merit number is 0.64 and it can be observed

versibility. The Merit number is deﬁned as: from Fig. 7 that for a given volume concentration of particles, there

exists a heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio at which the Merit number

Q gain is maximum.

Merit number ¼ ð19Þ

Q b þ I_

where 4.4. Optimum length

Q gain ¼ Q b Q f ð20Þ

As mentioned earlier, the enhancement in heat storage capacity

due to the addition of PCM particles is signiﬁcant when the

I_ ¼ S000

gen;av g v olume T ref ð21Þ

completion of phase change of PCM particles coincides with the exit

166 A.B.S. Alquaity et al. / International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 38 (2012) 159–167

Constant C2 for different volume concentrations of PCM which the effectiveness ratio, the performance index, and the Merit

particles.

number are the maximum. The effectiveness ratio is greater than 1

Volume concentration C2 for all cases and it reaches a maximum value of 2.75. This indicates

of PCM particles (%) that for the same temperature rise, the bulk ﬂuid can store 175%

3 1.083 more heat as compared to carrier ﬂuid without particles. The per-

5 0.814 formance index is lower than 1 for all heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate

7 0.7

10 0.613

ratios for the PCM slurry of 3% particle volume concentration.

The maximum value of the performance index is 1.37, which re-

ﬂects a 37% increase in heat transfer rate to ﬂuid pumping power

of the microchannel. The completion of phase change at the exit ratio of the bulk ﬂuid as compared to carrier ﬂuid. The Merit num-

ensures that the PCM slurry ﬂow undergoes sensible heating only ber follows the same trend as the effectiveness ratio, which indi-

near the inlet and thus maximum increase in heat storage capacity cates that the increase in irreversibility due to addition of PCM

is obtained. The length required for the phase change of PCM parti- particles is offset by the gain in heat transfer. The effectiveness ra-

cles, deﬁned as optimum length (Lopt), however, depends on the heat tio, performance index and the Merit number have the same corre-

ﬂux applied, the mass ﬂow rate of the PCM slurry as well as the vol- sponding value of optimum heat ﬂux to mass ﬂow rate ratio for a

ume concentration of PCM particles in the slurry. In this study, the given particle concentration. The ratios calculated in this study,

optimum length is obtained by calculating the distance from the in- namely, effectiveness ratio, performance index and Merit number

let of the microchannel to the axial location at which phase change of guide the designer regarding the conditions to be used in order

PCM particles is completed for different heat ﬂuxes, mass ﬂow rates to obtain the maximum beneﬁt by the addition of PCM particles.

and volume concentrations of particles. Using microchannels of Moreover, Lopt/Dh guides the designer in selecting the dimensions

optimum length will result in peak values of the effectiveness ratio, of the microchannel for the operating conditions used in this study.

performance index and Merit number for given volume concentra-

tion of particles. Fig. 8 shows the variation of Lopt/Dh with the differ-

ent parameters, where Dh is the hydraulic diameter of the Acknowledgements

microchannel. From Fig. 8, it can be clearly observed that increasing

the mass ﬂow rate of the PCM slurry, while keeping volume concen- The authors acknowledge the support of Center of Excellence for

tration of PCM particles and heat ﬂux constant increases the Scientiﬁc Research Collaboration with MIT and King Fahd University

optimum length required for phase change. Increase in volume con- of Petroleum and Minerals. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for this work.

centration of PCM particles while keeping other parameters con-

stant also leads to increase in the optimum length. Increase in heat References

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