Thermal Conductivity Enhancement of Phase Change Material for Thermal Energy Storage Using Nanotechnology

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student, Mechanic of Biosystem Engineering minor in renewable energies, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University of Tehran, Iran.

2 Dept of Mechanical Engineering of Agriculture Machinery, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University of Tehran, Iran

3 Research Associate, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, United Kingdom


Among all kinds of renewable energies, the solar energy has the greatest application compared to the other types. However, the biggest shortage of solar collectors is their low effectiveness at night or in the cloudy weather. The latent heat storage of phase change materials (PCMs) can be utilized as a solution for the above-mentioned problem. However most PCMs have low thermal conductivities. In this research aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and copper (Cu) nanoparticles were used to enhance the thermal properties of Paraffin wax as a PCM. The morphology of the nanocomposites was studied by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy. The experiments were performed in a factorial arrangement in a completely randomized design with three main factors including weight percentage (three levels), type (two levels), and size of the nanoparticles (three levels) and pure Paraffin wax used as a control sample. Thermal conductivity of nanocomposites was measured at a temperature range for each sample and in the solid phase. The highest and lowest values of thermal conductivity coefficients compared to control sample have increased 442% and 122%, respectively. Analysis of variance results showed that the size, type and concentration of nanoparticles affected thermal conductivity of nanocomposites significantly (p<0.01). In different size of nanoparticles, thermal conductivity coefficient of nanocomposites has increased with increasing of the nanoparticle concentration. Also, the highest thermal conductivity coefficient of nanocomposites was obtained at the smallest size of the nanoparticles. The highest thermal conductivity coefficients of nanocomposites were achieved by addition of Cu nanoparticles at the weight percentage of 6% and sizes of 30 and 70 nm to Paraffin wax.


Main Subjects

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