Turbulent melting characteristics of hybrid nano-enhanced molten salt phase change material in rectangular enclosure

R. Harish*, Rajesh Nimmagadda, S. Rajesh Reddy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The turbulent melting characteristics of hybrid nano-enhanced phase change material (HNEPCM) in a three-dimensional rectangular enclosure has been numerically investigated. The lower and upper walls are partially heated and cooled using constant surface temperature boundary condition and the other surfaces are specified with adiabatic boundary condition. The rectangular enclosure is filled with molten salt phase change material (PCM) of potassium nitrate (KNO3) with melting temperature of 334 °C. The transient melting rates of PCM are investigated by dispersing hybrid mono-dispersed spherical nanoparticles of Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) combined with Silicon dioxide (SiO2), Titanium dioxide (TiO2) and Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The Rayleigh number (Ra) and particle volume fraction (ϕ) are varied in the range of 106≤Ra≤1010 and 2%≤ϕ≤5%. The turbulent phase change process of PCM is modeled using enthalpy–porosity approach with Lam–Bremhorst k−ϵ turbulence model. The three-dimensional governing equations are discretized using Finite difference technique and computations are carried out using Fortran 90 in-house code. The stronger thermal buoyancy force accelerates the melting rate and the melting pattern indicates the accumulation of large quantity of molten metal in the upper regions of the rectangular enclosure. The average melting velocity and turbulent kinetic energy of pure KNO3 PCM is increased by 51.17% and 77.84% by the addition of Al2O3−MWCNT hybrid nanoparticles. The impact of hybrid nanoparticles on the melting rate and thermal performance of PCM is significant in higher Rayleigh number flows than transitional flows. The present results are validated and are in close agreement with the benchmark experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105328
JournalJournal of Energy Storage
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Hybrid nanoparticle
  • Latent heat thermal energy storage
  • Molten salt
  • Phase change heat transfer
  • Turbulent melting


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