Volume 39 Issue 6
Nov.  2019
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GUO Wenhua, PENG Hao, ZHAO Jianfu. Melting Heat Transfer Characteristics of Liquid Metal as Phase Change Material under Microgravity[J]. Journal of Space Science, 2019, 39(6): 778-786. doi: 10.11728/cjss2019.06.778
Citation: GUO Wenhua, PENG Hao, ZHAO Jianfu. Melting Heat Transfer Characteristics of Liquid Metal as Phase Change Material under Microgravity[J]. Journal of Space Science, 2019, 39(6): 778-786. doi: 10.11728/cjss2019.06.778

Melting Heat Transfer Characteristics of Liquid Metal as Phase Change Material under Microgravity

doi: 10.11728/cjss2019.06.778
  • Received Date: 2018-11-12
  • Rev Recd Date: 2019-09-30
  • Publish Date: 2019-11-15
  • Thermal energy storage is suitable for temperature control of working units in spacecraft under periodic heat flow, but it faces the problem of low melting rate of phase change materials under microgravity environment. In view of high thermal conductivity and high latent heat per unit volume of liquid metal, it is expected that the melting rate under microgravity will be increased by using liquid metal as phase change material. In the present study, the evolution of solid-liquid interface, streamline profile and temperature distribution during melting of gallium under microgravity are numerically investigated, and the influences of cavity size and superheat degree on melting process are analyzed. The results show that heat conduction plays a dominant role in the melting process of gallium under microgravity. The melting time of gallium is 88.3% and 96.4% shorter than that of ice and n-octadecane respectively, and the energy storage is 1.2 and 2.2 times of that of ice and n-octadecane respectively. The melting time decreases with the increase of superheat degree, and increases with the increase of cavity size. Meanwhile, the equation for describing the relationship between liquid fraction and dimensionless time is deduced.


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