IIR document

Supercooling phenomena of eutectic slabs used in static refrigerated containers for drugs transport.

Number: pap. ID: 851

Author(s) : STIENNE D., RAMEZ A., GUILPART J., et al.


Static cooling containers are commonly used for the transport of heat-sensitive products as for instance drugs. In these devices, the refrigeration effect is ensured by the fusion of a phase change material (PCM) enclosed in an adequate envelope. The performance of the system and consequently the preservation of the temperature of the products is closely related to the latent heat contained in the PCM. Therefore, a complete freezing of PCM slabs before utilization is expected. These slabs are classically frozen in conventional freezers. By using these equipments, the duration of the freezing time of the slabs added to the supercooling time lead to impressive treatment duration (some days, up to some weeks). The reduction of this treatment duration requires the quantification of the impact of process parameters (external heat transfer coefficient, thermal conductivity of unfrozen and of frozen slabs, supercooling duration, …) on the phenomenon. The present paper presents a series of experiments aiming at characterizing the influence of these parameters on the freezing time of PCM slabs. A simple model based on convective and conductive heat transfer is used to predict the cooling and the freezing time of slabs. The random characteristic (distribution curve) of supercooling is quantified for our experimental conditions. A sensibility study points out the main parameter to tune on in order to reduce the freezing time of slabs. This study makes it possible to predict the freezing conditions (time / temperature) permitting to reduce the delivery of unfrozen or partially frozen slabs.

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Pages: 8 p.


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  • Original title: Supercooling phenomena of eutectic slabs used in static refrigerated containers for drugs transport.
  • Record ID : 30001842
  • Languages: English
  • Source: Proceedings of the 23rd IIR International Congress of Refrigeration: Prague, Czech Republic, August 21-26, 2011. Overarching theme: Refrigeration for Sustainable Development.
  • Publication date: 2011/08/21


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