Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 139, Issue 2, pp 941–952 | Cite as

Constrained melting of graphene-based phase change nanocomposites inside a sphere

  • Rajendran Prabakaran
  • J. Prasanna Naveen Kumar
  • Dhasan Mohan LalEmail author
  • C. Selvam
  • Sivasankaran Harish


In the present work, the melting behavior of a fatty acid-based phase change material (PCM) with the addition of functionalized graphene nanoplatelets in a spherical capsule was experimentally studied. The fatty acid-based PCM (OM 08) has been selected for the air-conditioning application with a phase change temperature of 8 °C. The PCM-based nanocomposite samples were prepared by covalent functionalization method. The volume percentage of the functionalized graphene nanoplatelets varied from 0.1 to 0.5% with an increment of 0.1%. The thermal conductivity and rheological properties of the PCM nanocomposites were measured experimentally by transient hot wire method and rheometer, respectively. The maximum enhancement in thermal conductivity for 0.5 vol% of graphene nanoplatelets was found to be ~ 102%. The rheological test found that the addition of graphene nanoplatelets in the PCM resulted in the transition of Newtonian behavior to non-Newtonian behavior at lower shear rates. The viscosity of the PCM nanocomposites increases with volume fraction. Initially the pure PCM and PCM nanocomposites were solidified individually in a spherical capsule at different bath temperatures of 2 °C and − 10 °C. Then the solidified samples were kept in a constant temperature bath at 31 °C, and the melting characteristics were studied. The melting time of the PCM nanocomposite was reduced significantly with the addition of 0.5 vol% of graphene nanoplatelets by ~ 26% and ~21% for the PCM initial temperature of − 10 °C and 2 °C, respectively.


Melting heat transfer Nanoenhanced phase change material Fatty acids Graphene nanoplatelets Cold thermal energy storage Spherical capsule 

List of symbols



Carbon nanohorns


Carbon nanotubes


Graphene nanoplatelet


Graphene nanosheet


Heat transfer fluid


Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning


Mobile air-conditioning


Phase change material


Resistance temperature detector


Thermal energy storage



Consistency index


Specific heat (kJ kg−1 K−1)




Latent heat of fusion (kJ kg−1)


Thermal conductivity (W m−1 K−1)


Mass of the PCM in a sphere (mL)


Flow behavior index


Time (min)


Temperature (°C)

Greek symbols


Density (kg m−3)


Dynamic viscosity (Pa s)


Shear rate (s−1)


1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Temperature measuring locations











The authors acknowledge the Centre for Research, Anna University, for providing Anna Centenary Research Fellowship (ACRF) (Ref. No. CFR/ACRF/2015/4, Dated 21.01.2015) toward this doctoral-level research.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajendran Prabakaran
    • 1
  • J. Prasanna Naveen Kumar
    • 1
  • Dhasan Mohan Lal
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Selvam
    • 2
  • Sivasankaran Harish
    • 3
  1. 1.Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Division, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering GuindyAnna UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringSRM Institute of Science and TechnologyKattankulathur, ChennaiIndia
  3. 3.International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (WPI - I²CNER)Kyushu UniversityNishi-kuJapan

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