A comprehensive investigation of heat transfer and induced fluid flow interactions during melting in a confined storage medium is reported in this paper. This study focuses on thermal characterization of a single constituent storage module rather than an entire storage system to precisely capture the energy exchange contributions of all fundamental heat transfer mechanisms during phase change process. Two-dimensional, axisymmetric, transient equations for mass, momentum and energy conservation were solved numerically by the finite volume scheme. Results report the influence of the Grashof, Stefan and Prandtl numbers on the melting dynamics of capsules with various diameters (20, 30, 40, and 50 mm). Also the effects of the shell material have been analyzed. Correlating equations for melt fraction and Nusselt number have been developed for possible general design applications.

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