Theoretical modeling of solid-liquid phase change


This paper presents a theoretical analysis of phase change in a system comprising a PCM and a multi-layer Cartesian wall. The paper accounts for thermal conduction through the multi-layer wall and thermal contact resistance between wall layers. The predicted phase change front propagation is shown to agree well with past work and numerical simulations. The impact of the imposed temperature, wall thermal diffusivity and thickness are presented in non-dimensional forms. The paper also solves practical problems related to design of a PCM wall for energy storage, showing two very different characteristics of stainless steel and polypropylene walls, as well as the impact of wall thickness on phase change propagation. The results presented here improve the fundamental understanding of phase change heat transfer processes.