Reliability and heat transfer performance of a miniature high-temperature thermosyphon-based thermal valve
Latent heat thermal energy storage systems have the advantages of near isothermal heat release and high energy density compared to sensible heat, generally resulting in higher power block efficiencies. Until now, there has been no highly effective and reliable method to passively extract that stored latent energy. Most modern attempts rely on external power supplied to a pump to move viscous heat transfer fluids from the phase change material (PCM) to the power block. In this work, the problem of latent heat dispatchability has been addressed with a redesigned thermosyphon geometry that can act as a “thermal valve” capable of passively and efficiently controlling the release of heat from a thermal reservoir. A bench-scale prototype with a stainless steel casing and sodium working fluid was designed and tested to be reliable for more than fifty “on/off” cycles at an operating temperature of 600 °C. The measured thermal resistances in the “on” and “off” states were 0.0395 K/W and 11.0 K/W respectively. This device demonstrated efficient, fast, reliable, and passive heat extraction from a PCM and may have application to other fields and industries using thermal processing.
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Oshman, Christopher J.; Rea, Jonathan E.; Hardin, Corey L.; Olsen, Michele L.; Alleman, Jeff; Glatzmaier, Greg C.; Siegel, Nathan P.; Parilla, Philip A.; Ginley, David S.; and Toberer, Eric S.. "Reliability and heat transfer performance of a miniature high-temperature thermosyphon-based thermal valve." International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer (2018) : 1079-1086.