Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 1427–1440 | Cite as

A basic study on Thermosyphon-type thermal storage unit (TSU) using Nanofluid as the heat transfer medium

  • Shuang-Fei Li
  • Ping-Yang Wang
  • Zhen-hua Liu


This study proposed a novel thermosyphon-type thermal storage unit using water-based CuO nanofluid as the phase-change heat transfer medium. Seven tubular canisters containing solid-liquid phase-change material (PCM) with peak melting temperature of 100 °C were placed vertically into the center of the TSU which is a vertical cylindrical vessel made of stainless steel. Coat formed by depositing nanoparticles during the phase-change process was adopted to increase the wettability of the heat transfer surfaces of the canisters. We investigated the phase-change heat transfer, as well as the heat-storage and heat-release properties, of the TSU through experimental and computational analysis. Our results demonstrate that this thermal storage unit construction can propose good heat transfer and heat-storage/heat-release performance. The coating of nanoparticles onto the heat transfer surfaces increases the surface wettability and improves both the evaporation and condensation heat transfer. The main thermal resistance in the TSU results from the conductive heat transfer inside of the PCM. All phase-change thermal resistance of liquid film in charging and discharging processes can be ignored in this TSU.


Thermal storage unit Nanofluid Thermosyphon Phase change material 



Total heat transfer area (m2)


specific heat at constant pressure (kJ/(kg·K))


local acceleration of gravity (9.8 m/s2)


heat transfer coefficient (W/(m2·K))


latent heat (kJ/kg)


Temperature (°C)


Mass (kg)


mass rate (kg/s)


Canister length (m)


Power (W)


Pressure (Pa)


heat flux (W/m2)


Film Reynolds number of liquid film


Radius (m)

Greek letters


thermal conductivity (W/(m·K))


density (kg/m3)


dynamic viscosity (kg/m·s)


time (s)


a short time interval



center of PCM


Cooling air






Initial state


inlet of the cooling air




different endothermic parts


phase change material




copper tube wall


outlet et of the cooling air


a certain time


a short time interval



The present study is supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), project number 2013CB228303.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we do not have any commercial or associative interest that represents a conflict of interest in connection with the work submitted.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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