Advanced Modeling Approaches for Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Val Hyginus Udoka Eze1,*, John S. Tamball1, Oonyu Robert1 and Okafor O. Wisdom2

1Department of Electrical, Telecommunication and Computer Engineering, Kampala International University, Uganda.

2Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, England.

*Corresponding Author: Val Hyginus Udoka Eze,, Kampala International University, Western Campus, Ishaka, Uganda (ORCID: 0000-0002-6764-1721)


This paper highlights the significance of modeling Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage (LHTES), temperature-based and enthalpy in an understanding phase transitions, emphasizing their distinct insights based on the specific application. LHTES systems addresses the escalating demand for efficient and environmentally friendly energy management across various sectors. These systems leverage Phase Change Materials (PCMs) to store and release thermal energy during phase transitions, offering significant advantages in terms of energy storage capacity and temperature regulation. This research provides an overview of the methodologies, applications and challenges associated with modeling LHTES systems, which have gained prominence in diverse fields such as phase change modeling, temperature-centric modeling, enthalpy modeling, porous medium approach, conduction-dominated and convection-dominated phase change. This research critically reviewed heat transfer coupled with phase change in simple configurations, exploring fundamental principles and modeling of heat storage units like packed beds. This research finally highlights the crucial importance of modeling underscores its significant role in propelling the development of LHTES technology. These review paper recommended the design and development of accurate, predictive models improve LHTES systems to enhance energy efficiency and reduce ecological impacts across a wide range of applications.

Keywords: Phase change materials, Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage, Packed beds and Porous medium approach


In the contemporary era, where sustainability and efficient energy management are paramount, the adoption of advanced energy storage technologies has become imperative. Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage (LHTES) systems, among these technologies, play a pivotal role in the pursuit of sustainable and energy-efficient solutions across diverse applications. These systems leverage the latent heat associated with phase transitions in materials to store and release thermal energy, offering distinct advantages in terms of energy storage capacity and precise temperature control [1][2][3]. This discourse delves into the realm of modeling LHTES systems, a discipline that has gained significant importance in recent years. LHTES systems have become indispensable across various sectors, including renewable energy integration, building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as well as industrial processes [4][5][6][7]. Hence, to grasp the significance of modeling in the context of LHTES, it is crucial to acknowledge the complexity and multifaceted nature of phase change problems, along with the diverse modeling techniques employed to address them. The spectrum of phase change problems encompasses a wide range of phenomena, from simple to highly intricate, including temperature-based models, enthalpy models, porous medium approaches, and scenarios dominated by either conduction or convection during phase change [8][9][10] [11]. Understanding and modeling heat transfer in simple geometries and comprehending the fundamental principles underlying heat storage units, particularly packed beds, are integral components of this domain. As we embark on an exploration of LHTES system modeling, it is essential to recognize the pivotal role this discipline plays in advancing LHTES technology [12][13]. Accurate and predictive modeling not only assists in system design but also facilitates optimization, ultimately contributing to enhanced energy efficiency and minimized environmental impact across a wide array of applications [14][15]. This comprehensive review seeks to shed light on the various modeling approaches, challenges, and the overarching significance of this field in steering LHTES systems toward greater efficiency and sustainability.


In conclusion, a profound grasp of heat transfers and phase change phenomena is essential in numerous engineering and energy applications. The amalgamation of diverse models and approaches forms a robust foundation for comprehending and predicting heat storage units, with a specific focus on packed beds. Concepts ranging from temperature-based modeling to convection-dominated phase changes play a pivotal role in advancing heat transfer studies. Two primary models, namely the temperature-based model and the enthalpy model, offer distinctive perspectives on heat transfer processes during phase change. The temperature-based model provides a fundamental understanding based on temperature variations, whereas the enthalpy model considers energy changes throughout the phase change, offering a more comprehensive analysis. The porous medium approach is crucial in understanding the impact of material structure on heat transfer within packed beds. This approach explores the interaction between solid matrices and fluid flow, significantly contributing to the accurate modeling of heat storage systems. Conduction and convection-dominated phase change models focus on different heat transfer mechanisms. Conduction-dominated models emphasize heat transfer through solid structures, while convection-dominated models address fluid flow and convective heat transfer, particularly relevant in systems involving fluid-filled packed beds. Analyzing heat transfer with phase change in simple geometries serves as a cornerstone in studying fundamental concepts before extending to complex systems. These simple geometries provide a practical foundation for understanding and testing theoretical models and concepts. Finally, the study and modeling of heat storage units, particularly packed beds, offer a comprehensive approach to understanding phase change problems. The diverse methodologies, ranging from basic to advanced modeling, equip researchers and engineers with the necessary tools to design efficient heat storage systems. Furthermore, these models serve as a framework for innovation and advancement in renewable energy, industrial processes, and environmental conservation.


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CITE AS: Val Hyginus Udoka Eze, John S. Tamball, Oonyu Robert and Okafor O. Wisdom (2024). Advanced Modeling Approaches for Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage Systems. IAA Journal of Applied Sciences 11(1):49-56.