Evaluating the Feasibility of Ice Thermal Energy Storage
It is widely recognized by society that we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. This project evaluates the feasibility of long term Ice Thermal Energy Storage Systems, to reduce the dependence on generated electricity for cooling buildings in the summer. The system consists of a large insulated volume capable of storing large amounts of snow and ice collected in the winter, and storing it for weeks to months to produce chilled water for cooling buildings in hot weather. This project involved developing a transient heat transfer model to predict the time-dependent temperature of a snow/ice bed in a well-insulated compartment subjected to heat gain from the environment and simulated building cooling system return water. The model was used to study the effects of design parameters, like insulation type and thickness as well as the return water flow rate on the melt time. In addition, a scaled experimental system was developed to conduct experiments to measure melt times and validate the model, with the overall goal to improve the performance and reduce the cost of the system.