Experimental study on heat transfer characteristics of metal foam/paraffin composite PCMs in large cavities: Effects of material types and heating configurations

Publication Name

Applied Energy


This study explores the effects of material types and structural parameters of metal foam, and heating configurations on the evolution of melting front, heat transfer characteristics, and temperature distribution of metal foam/paraffin composite phase change materials (PCMs) in large cavities. Copper and iron foams were used as the heat transfer enhancement medium, while paraffin with a melting point of 45 °C was chosen as the PCM to store heat. This study identified the heat transfer regimes in large cavities during the melting process. The experimental results on different heating configurations indicated that different from small cavities, both conduction and convection regimes played a fundamental role in the melting process. In addition, the heating configuration controlled the evolution of the melting front of the pure PCM and composite PCM. On the basis of these results, a non-dimensional correlation validated against a large dataset of experiments was fitted to model the melting process of the composite PCMs.

Open Access Status

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Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Università degli Studi di Padova



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