ME 412 Heat Transfer Laboratory, Spring 2021

Understanding Thermal Energy Storage System

Thermal energy storage (TES) has become an essential part in renewable energy production systems, such as a solar thermal power plant or a wind farm. It can also be found in building heating systems. TES helps to provide a flexible energy supply, improves the overall system efficiency, and leads to better economics. In the project, students in ME412 are expected to understand the thermal energy storage process and technology through two parts of work. For the major part, each team will design, analyze, build, and test a simple thermal battery with phase change material (candle wax). The objective of the design is to achieve an efficient “charging” (heating) process and to retain the stored energy for a longer time, while cost and weight also being considered. For the secondary part, each team will choose a specific type of thermal energy storage system and conduct a review on its application, technology, operation, and performance analysis as. Due to the special situation this semester, each team will test their device at home, prepare a short demo video, and then present their device, and test results, as well as thermal analysis to the whole class on the presentation day.