A seasonal cold storage system based on separate type heat pipe for sustainable building cooling

Chengchu Yan, Wenxing Shi, Xianting Li, Shengwei Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Seasonal cold storage is a high-efficient and environmental-friendly technique that uses the stored natural cold energy in winter (e.g., snow, ice or cold ambient air) for free-cooling in summer. This paper presents a seasonal cold storage system that uses separate type heat pipes to charge the cold energy from ambient air in winter automatically, without consuming any energy. The charged cold energy is stored in the form of ice in an insulated tank and is extracted as chilled water for cooling supply in summer, which help to reduce the chiller running time and reduce the associated electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emission significantly. A quasi-steady two-dimensional mathematical model of the system is developed for characterizing the dynamic performance of ice growth (i.e., cold charging). The model is validated using the field measurement data from an ice charging experiment conducted in Beijing. The impacts of various affecting factors, including the weather data and the key parameters of heat pipes, on the charging performance of the cold storage system are analyzed. The effectiveness and sustainability of the proposed system for cooling are demonstrated through a case study of a kindergarten building in Beijing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-889
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Heat pipe
  • Ice storage
  • Renewable energy
  • Seasonal cold storage
  • Sustainable cooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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