The degree of thermal stratification maintained in hot water storage tanks has a significant impact on the performance of a solar energy system. This paper presents an axisymmetric finite volume model analysis of the charging of a tank with hot water, and compares the predictions with experimental results from the literature. The results show the capabilities and deficiencies of such a modeling technique for this type of problem. The importance of inlet fluid turbulence to tank destratification is demonstrated and inclusion of a simple turbulence model is found sufficient to yield good agreement with measurement. The model predictions also provide insight into when a simple one-dimensional plug flow model will be adequate. In addition, the model is used to evaluate the effect during charging of heat conduction in the tank wall on the temperature field in the fluid. Recommendations are made regarding future work on the development of detailed numerical codes for simulating the charging of liquid storage tanks.

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