On Simplified Models for the Rate- And Time-Dependent Performance of Stratified Thermal Storage


In direct sensible thermal storage systems, both the energy discharging and charging processes are inherently time-dependent as well as rate-dependent. Simplified models which depict the characteristics of this transient process are therefore crucial to the sizing and rating of the storage devices. In this paper, existing models which represent three distinct classes of models for thermal storage behavior are recast into a common formulation and used to predict the variations of discharge volume fraction, thermal mixing factor, and entropy generation. For each of the models considered, the parametric dependence of key performance measures is shown to be expressible in terms of a Peclet number and a Froude number or temperature difference ratio. The thermal mixing factor for each of the models is reasonably well described by a power law fit with Fr2 Pe for the convection-dominated portion of the operating range. For the uniform and nonuniform diffusivity models examined, there is shown to be a Peclet number which maximizes the discharge volume fraction. In addition, the cumulative entropy generation from the simplified models is compared with the ideally-stratified and the fully-mixed limits. Of the models considered, only the nonuniform diffusivity model exhibits an optimal Peclet number at which the cumulative entropy generation is minimized. For each of the other models examined, the cumulative entropy generation varies monotonically with Peclet number.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

Keywords and Phrases

Thermal Energy Storage; Convection; Stratified flow; Heat storage

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2007 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2007