Thermodynamics of phase-change energy storage. The effects of liquid superheating during melting, and irreversibility during solidification
This paper considers the question of whether the optimum phase-change temperature for maximum exergy storage is universally equal to the geometric mean of the heat source and environment temperature, Tm = (T∞Te) 1/2 . The study consists of three parts. The first deals with the conduction-melting process, and shows that the optimum melting temperature is generally greater than the geometric mean of the source and environment temperatures. The second part covers the conduction-solification process, and concludes that the irreversibility of solidification decreases monotonically as the phase-change temperature increases. The third part treats the complete cycle of melting (storage) followed by solidification (retrieval), and demonstrates that the optimum phase-change temperature is greater than the optimum temperature of the melting process alone.