Heat-transfer Characteristics of a Light-weight, Fin-integrated PCM Unit Manufactured by Additive Manufacturing
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A light-weight, fin-integrated heat storage unit utilizing 3D additive manufacturing technology (3D printer) has been developed and its heat transfer characteristics has been evaluated. A container and internal heat conductive fins are fabricated simultaneously using aluminum alloy (Al-Si10-Mg). After filling with a certain amount of octadecane (C18H38), the charge ports are sealed. The new manufacturing technique has made it possible to realize the connection between fins and all exterior skins, which mitigates the structural requirement of both the skins and the fins; the thickness of the skins can be reduced, and the high efficient column shaped fin can be adopted by supporting both end as well as intermediate points with lateral fins. The overall mass fraction of PCM is above 50% when the temperature overshoot is suppressed to less than 10deg.C at a heat flux 0.3W/cm2. It is also shown that a simple thermal estimation method agrees well with the experimental results.