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Title: The role of nanoparticles in thermal energy storage systems
Author: Thompson, Dawn
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 2596
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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The growing demand for energy on the one hand and climate change, which is closely related to increased energy consumption, on the other, have become central issues worldwide. The present investigation aims at identifying potential ways in which renewable energy can become more appealing and efficient by storing the energy produced, for example by a wind turbine or by residual heat, so that energy is readily available for the consumer in both peak and off peak hours. We can look at this both in terms of an energy storage device or as thermal insulation. An ideal thermal energy storage device should be easy and fast to charge and discharge, while sustaining minimal losses when inactive. The first aspect requires a search for materials with high thermal conductivity while in contact with the storage medium (an organic or aqueous-based substance). Amongst the many possibilities, we focus here on nanoparticles within a fluid, i.e. a nanofluid, as a means to store latent heat that is produced for example by a renewable source. Over the past decade nanoparticles have shown the potential to enhance the thermal conductivity of base fluids such as water, ethylene glycol and engine oil, in some cases quite dramatically. The idea here is to embed nanoparticles within a base fluid undergoing a phase change, in order to improve the characteristics of the charge/discharge cycle. However, this phenomenon is poorly understood and the literature is contradictory. Moreover, to avoid the aggregation and improve nanoparticle dispersion, surfactants are added to the nanofluid, thus introducing an additional active element whose role has to be understood. This Thesis focuses on the knowledge gained from simulations and experiments to propose modifications of the nanoparticles-surfactant-base fluid system to improve heat conduction for use in thermal energy storage devices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available