High-conductivity nanomaterials for enhancing thermal performance of latent heat thermal energy storage systems

  • Selvaraj JegadheeswaranEmail author
  • Athimoolam Sundaramahalingam
  • Sanjay D. Pohekar


Dispersing high-conductivity nanomaterials into phase change materials (PCM) of latent heat thermal energy storage systems (LHTESS) is expected to solve the problem of poor thermal conductivity of PCMs. Accordingly, several metals, metal oxides and non-metals are employed as nanoadditives for PCMs by researchers. Besides thermal conductivity of PCMs, the other thermo-physical properties are also altered by nanoadditives. This paper provides comprehensive information on the effects of nanoadditives on the thermo-physical properties of PCMs through a critical review of related published works. The modified properties ultimately determine the charging and discharging rates of LHTESS. The extent of improvement in the thermal performance and the related issues are addressed. Further, the theoretical/empirical models developed so far for the evaluation of thermo-physical properties are deliberated.

Graphical abstract


Energy storage Phase change material Heat transfer Nanomaterial Brownian motion Agglomeration 

List of symbols

A, B, C, D

Constants in Eq. (14)


Constant for considering the Kapitza resistance per unit area


Epolarization factor component along the x-symmetrical axis


Nanoparticle Biot number


Constant in Eq. (15)


Proportional constant


Specific heat (J kg−1 K−1)


Diffusion coefficient


Boltzmann constant (1.381 × 10−23 J K−1)


Thermal conductivity (W m−1 K−1)


Thermal conductivity of complex nanoparticles along x direction (W m−1 K−1)


Thermal conductivity of complex nanoparticles along y direction (W m−1 K−1)


Thermal conductivity of nanolayer (W m−1 K−1)


Latent heat (J kg−1)


Liquid mean free path


Molecular mass


Factor in viscosity model of Hosseini et al. [1]


Avogadro number


Shape function


Prandtl number


Interfacial thermal resistance


Brownian–Reynolds number


Reynolds number based on particle radius


Cluster radius (m)


Equivalent radius of a base fluid molecule (m)


Radius of the particles (m)


Temperature (°C or K)


Thickness of capping layer (m)


Thickness of the void (m)


Velocity (m s−1)

X, Y

Constants in Eq. (13)

Greek symbols


Volume fraction of base fluid moving with a particle due to Brownian motion, empirical constant in viscosity model of Hosseini et al. [1]


Ratio of the nanolayer thickness to the particle radius, empirical constant in viscosity model of Hosseini et al. [1]


Ratio of the thermal conductivity of nanolayer to that of particles, empirical constant in viscosity model of Hosseini et al. [1]


Density (kg m−3)


Viscosity (m2 s−1)


Intrinsic viscosity


Volume fraction of nanoparticles


Total volume fraction of complex nanoparticles




Particle relaxation time (s)





Base fluid












Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and DevelopmentBannari Amman Institute of TechnologySathyamangalam, Erode (Dt)India
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringBannari Amman Institute of TechnologySathyamangalam, Erode (Dt)India
  3. 3.Symbiosis Center for Research and InnovationSymbiosis International (Deemed University)Lavale, PuneIndia

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