In this study, turbulent natural convection heat transfer during the charge cycle of a Thermal Energy Storage system was studied computationally and analytically. The storage fluids were supercritical CO2 and liquid toluene which are stored in vertical and sealed storage tubes. A computational model was developed and validated to study turbulent natural convection during the charge cycle. The results of this study show that the aspect ratio of the storage tube (L/D) has an important effect on the heat transfer characteristics. A conceptual model was developed that views the thermal storage process as a hot boundary layer that rises along the tube wall and falls in the center to replace the cold fluid in the core. This model shows that dimensionless mean temperature of the storage fluid and average Nusselt number are functions of a Buoyancy-Fourier number.

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