An experimental study of convective heat transfer with microencapsulated phase change material suspension: Laminar flow in a circular tube under constant heat flux

Binjiao Chen, Xin Wang, Ruolang Zeng, Yinping Zhang, Xichun Wang, Jianlei Niu, Yi Li, Hongfa Di

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

171 Citations (Scopus)


By contrast with the conventional heat transfer fluid (water), the microencapsulated phase change material (MPCM) suspension, with a small temperature difference between storing and releasing heat, is of much larger apparent specific heat and much higher thermal energy storage capacity. It has been suggested to serve as a dual-functional medium for thermal energy transport and/or storage. The heat transfer characteristics of a kind of MPCM suspension, formed by microencapsulating industrial-grade 1-bromohexadecane (C16H33Br) as phase change material, were experimentally studied for laminar flow in a circular tube under constant heat flux. A new expression of Ste is put forward in the paper, according to the physical definition of Stefan number. The results in the experiments show: (a) the dimensionless internal wall temperature of the MPCM suspension is lower than pure water, and the decrease can be up to 30% of that of water; (b) the heat transfer enhancement ratio can be 1.42 times of that of water at x+= 4.2 × 10-2for 15.8 wt% MPCM suspension, which is not as much as in some references; and (c) the pump consumption of the MPCM suspension system decrease greatly for the larger heat transfer rate compared with water, due to phase change, the decrease can be up to 67.5% of that of water at q = 750 W (15.8 wt%). The kind of MPCM suspension has good application feasibility in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1646
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2008


  • Constant heat flux
  • Heat transfer
  • Laminar
  • Microencapsulated phase change material suspension
  • Phase change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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