Extending the validity of lumped capacitance method for large Biot number in thermal storage application

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102 Scopus citations


In a typical thermal energy storage system, a heat transfer fluid is usually used to deposit/extract heat when it flows through a packed bed of solid thermal storage material. A one-dimensional model of the heat transfer and energy storage/extraction for a packed-bed thermal storage system has been developed previously by the authors. The model treats the transient heat conduction in the thermal storage material by using the lumped capacitance method, which is not valid when the Biot number is large. The current work presents an effective heat transfer coefficient between the solid and fluid for large Biot numbers. With the corrected heat transfer coefficient, the lumped capacitance method can be applied to model the thermal storage in a wide range of Biot numbers. Four typical structures for the solid thermal storage material are considered. Formulas for the effective heat transfer coefficient (and effective Biot number) are presented. To verify the prediction by the lumped capacitance method using the effective heat transfer coefficient, we compare the results to the corresponding analytical solutions. The results are in very good agreement. The effective heat transfer coefficient extended the validity of the lumped capacitance method to large Biot numbers, which is of significance to the analysis of thermal energy storage systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1709-1724
Number of pages16
JournalSolar energy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Corrected heat transfer coefficient
  • Large Biot numbers
  • Lumped capacitance method
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Validity extending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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