Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Effect of the Solid Gas Interface Nanolayer on Enhanced Thermal Conductivity of Copper-CO2 Nanofluid

The use of CO2 in oil recovery and in CO2 capture and storage is gaining traction in recent years. These applications involve heat transfer between CO2 and the base fluid, and hence, there arises a need to improve the thermal conductivity of CO2 to increase the process efficiency and reduce cost. One way to improve the thermal conductivity is through nanoparticle addition in the base fluid. The nanofluid model in this study consisted of copper (Cu) nanoparticles in varying concentrations with CO2 as a base fluid. No experimental data are available on thermal conductivity of CO2 based nanofluid. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are an increasingly adopted tool to perform preliminary assessments of nanoparticle (NP) fluid interactions. In this study, the effect of the formation of a nanolayer (or molecular layering) at the gas-solid interface on thermal conductivity is investigated using equilibrium MD simulations by varying NP diameter and keeping the volume fraction (1.413%) of nanofluid constant to check the diameter effect of NP on the nanolayer and thermal conductivity. A dense semi-solid fluid layer was seen to be formed at the NP-gas interface, and the thickness increases with increase in particle diameter, which also moves with the NP Brownian motion. Density distribution has been done to see the effect of nanolayer, and its thickness around the NP. These findings are extremely beneficial, especially to industries employed in oil recovery as increased thermal conductivity of CO2 will lead to enhanced oil recovery and thermal energy storage.

Thermal and Flammability Properties of Paraffin/Nanoclay Composite Phase Change Materials Incorporated in Building Materials for Thermal Energy Storage

In this study, a form-stable composite Paraffin/Nanoclay (PA-NC) has been prepared by absorbing PA into porous particles of NC to be used for low-temperature latent heat thermal energy storage. The leakage test shows that the maximum mass fraction of PA that can be incorporated in NC without leakage is 60 wt.%. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) has been used to measure the thermal properties of the PA and PA-NC both before and after incorporation in plasterboard (PL). The mechanical performance of the samples has been evaluated in flexural mode. The thermal energy storage performance has been studied using a small test chamber (100 mm × 100 mm × 100 mm) made from 10 mm thick PL and measuring the temperatures using thermocouples. The flammability of the PL+PL-NC has been discussed using a cone calorimeter. The results indicate that the form composite PA has good potential for use as thermal energy storage materials in building applications.

Optimisation of A Phase Change Thermal Storage System

PCMs have always been viewed as a suitable candidate for off peak thermal storage, particularly for refrigeration systems, due to the high latent energy densities of these materials. However, due to the need to have them encapsulated within a container this density is reduced. Furthermore, PCMs have a low thermal conductivity which reduces the useful amount of energy which can be stored. To consider these factors, the true energy storage density of a PCM system was proposed and optimised for PCMs encapsulated in slabs. Using a validated numerical model of the system, a parametric study was undertaken to investigate the impact of the slab thickness, gap between slabs and the mass flow rate. The study showed that, when optimised, a PCM system can deliver a true energy storage density between 53% and 83% of the latent energy density of the PCM.