Thermal performance of a full-scale stratified chilled-water thermal storage tank

W. P. Bahnfleth, A. Musser

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The thermal performance of a full-scale 1.47 million gallon (5300 m3), 44.5 ft (13.6 m) water-depth, naturally stratified chilled-water thermal storage tank with radial diffusers is analyzed. Controlled, constant inlet flow rate tests covering the full range of the system have been performed for both charge and discharge processes. Thermal performance for these half-cycle tests is quantified using performance metrics similar to the figure of merit (FOM). Lost capacity, a new measure of performance with practical significance, is also presented. Uncertainty analysis shows that under some circumstances, particularly for tall tanks, lost capacity allows thermal performance to be quantified with less experimental uncertainty than FOM. Results of these tests indicate that discharge cycles performance is not as good as charge cycle performance at the same flow rate. However, the half-cycle figure of merit for all cycles tested was in excess of 90%, despite the fact that the inlet Reynolds number exceeded that recommended in the literature by up to a factor of five.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-388
Number of pages12
JournalASHRAE Transactions
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 ASHRAE Annual Meeting - Toronto, Can
Duration: Jun 21 1998Jun 24 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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