Performance improvement and energy consumption reduction in refrigeration systems using phase change material (PCM)

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Mechanical Engineering


This paper presents a review of various research investigations on the application of phase change material (PCM) in refrigeration systems. Application of PCMs mostly in vapor compression refrigeration systems refrigeration systems have illustrated significant effects on the performance of the system, compressor on-off cycle and electricity consumption reduction. Since PCM must be chemically and thermally stable over a large number of freezing/melting cycles to be applicable for thermal energy storage in refrigerators, PCM selection for refrigeration systems is discussed as an important issue. Moreover, influences of some parameters such as PCM thickness and phase change temperature of PCM on the performance of refrigeration systems are reviewed. The advantages and drawbacks of using PCM in the evaporator, condenser, compartment section and compressor are evaluated. Using PCM at the evaporator section minimizes the fluctuation of compartment temperature and provides stable conditions against thermal load variations. Since incorporation of PCM at the evaporator increases the compressor running time initially and raises the condensation temperature, several investigations were performed to incorporate PCM at the condenser section. With an alarming rate of rise in the use of refrigerators, along with their total electrical consumption in today's world, the application of PCM on refrigerators looks like a viable measure to increase the efficiency of refrigerators and reduce the energy consumption. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd



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Applied Thermal Engineering

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