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International Heat Transfer Conference 6

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)


B.J. Sliwinski
U.S. Army CERL, Champaign, Ill

A.R. Mech
University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.

T.S. Shih
University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC6.2280
pages 149-154


This paper details experimental research to identify a set of dimensionless parameters to predict the occurrence and degree of thermal stratification in thermal energy storage tanks. An insulated cylindrical tank filled with 300 litres of water was instrumented to allow measurement of the vertical temperature profile for various values of the Peclet and Richardson numbers. The vertical temperature profile was determined from temperatures taken at 16 points located at equal increments along the centerline of the tank. In each experiment, the Richardson and Peclet numbers determined by input temperature, initial tank temperature, flow rate, and tank configuration, were kept constant while the tank was charged. The temperature profile and Richardson and Peclet number parameters were sampled and recorded once each minute by a digital computer. The vertical temperature profile was plotted to determine the position and sharpness of the thermocline. It was found that the position and sharpness of the thermocline were a function of the Richardson and Peclet numbers. A critical value of Richardson number was observed below which stratification does not occur. The difference in performance between stratified and mixed tanks was found to be the rate of heat transfer to the tank.

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